—Susan Rubin Suleiman, The New York Times Book Review
"Brown’s storytelling is vivacious and fluid, but he also keeps a firm hand on his chronicle, bringing order and perspective to these often chaotic times . . . For the Soul of France offers a great deal of instruction and many narrative pleasures (even for a French reader). After reading it, visitors to the City of Light, and Parisians themselves, may never look at the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré-Cœur quite the same way again."
—Michel Gurfinkiel, The Wall Street Journal
"Richly illustrated . . . an important work of cultural and intellectual history."
—Library Journal (starred)
"For the Soul of France is masterful history, brilliantly researched, and hard to put down."
—Henry A. Kissinger
"For the Soul of France is a very good example of cultural history. It suggest that even in the heyday of bourgeois materialism, the most important, and often decisive, matter was what large groups of people preferred to think and believe. His episodes are well-selected, and their developments well-written."
—John Lukacs, author of Budapest 1900: A Historical Portrait of a City and Its Culture; Historical Consciousness: Or, The Remembered Past; The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler
"A master of the fin de siècle, Brown will engross Francophiles."
“Nobody outside France writes better about French history and culture in the late 19th Century than Frederick Brown, and his latest book, FOR THE SOUL OF FRANCE, brings to life for anyone who enjoys history, the Third Republic's immense eruption of scandal; artistic, scientific and technological innovation and creativity. It is a period of
artistic triumph and of political turmoil, the latter increased by the ferocity of a nation divided by defeat in 1871, and by a moral and religious schism that culminated in the Dreyfus Case. The names alone--Gambetta, Thiers, Eiffel, de Lesseps, Zola, Boulanger, Clemenceau--mark the richness of the era, with its fatal combination of dissent, pugnacity, fin de siecle bourgeois luxury and revolutionary art, all of it overshadowed by the thirst for revenge against Germany that brought France to enter the First World War, and the martyrdom of a whole generation, with such misguided enthusiasm. This is the world that ended in 1914 and that all of Europe would look back on with such nostalgia and regret; it is an epic piece of history on a grand scale, full of deeply disturbing resemblances to our own.”
—Michael Korda, author of IKE, ULYSSES S. GRANT and WITH WINGS