Editor’s Note: We present here a revised version of a talk given by Dick Howard on 22 April 2005 to a symposium organised in New York by the journal French Culture, Politics and Society. The subject of the symposium was Perry Anderson’s sweeping re-interpretation of French history and politics published in The London Review of Books in 2004 (‘Dégringolade,’ 2 September; ‘Union Sucrée,’ 23 September). Anderson’s essays, with a reply by Pierre Nora, were published in French in 2005 as La Pensée tiède. Un regard critique sur la culture française, suivi de La Pensée réchauffée, réponse de Pierre Nora, Le Seuil, Paris.
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