03. The USA Wins

French non-fiction is flourishing

Although the same phenomena of concentration in publishing exist to a no lesser extent in France than in other European countries (not to mention the USA), French non-fiction publishing has never been so flourishing as today. This seemingly paradoxical situation is explained by the fact that the book market in France is very much a regulated market. How does this French exception work?

Not contributing

European intellectuals and publishers (with the partial exception of the British) are not contributing as much as they might to this flowering of argument over the future direction of the world’s economy and society.

American intellectuals leading the debate

The paradox is that it is American intellectuals, who have the smallest influence on the outcome of their democratic process, who are leading the debate and dominating international discussion.


The combination of a world market in publishing with an aggressively ideological government in the USA has produced a counter-reaction: the development of a new kind of international public intellectual and the rekindling of a dormant interest in democratic politics among the reading public. Even the most rigidly run conglomerates have been forced to respond to this trend.