Writing the last post on Julia Child made me think of this question.
Why is it that Americans sneer at the French so much. And if your answer constitutes more sneering at the French, it's not a good answer.
And if you can't plumb the depths of the destructive project of French-hatred, perhaps you could help me with a more constructive project: what are more examples of as-American-as-apple-pie types that were enthusiastic francophiles?
Three immediately come to mind for me. Julia Child, obviously. The other two are Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
I'm not thinking of people that the average American would consider aloof. Clearly there are a lot of people out there who like the French. But who is considered a paragon of being down to earth and American-as-apple-pie that was also unashamedly enthusiastic about the French?
I never studied French in school (I had four years of German instead), and only managed to mumble a couple things to them when I was in Paris. My family doesn't speak French nor are they world travelers that have instilled an appreciation in me. And I have an atrocious lack of world travel experience (it's so bad I'm not even going to share the short list). So it's not like I'm being aloof or an unusual case when I say this - I've just always thought France and French culture were wonderful and never quite understood why so many Americans are so down on it.