50 Reasons to Hate the French: Vive La Difference? is a humorous book by Jules Eden and Alex Clarke that takes an irreverent look at French politics, food, geography, business, and history, in order to delineate just what makes France so "exceptionnel". Published in London on August 3, 2006 by Quetzal Publishing, it has since been released in the USA by Ivan R. Dee.
In the introduction the authors write,
For all the magnificence of the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe, for all the cultural joy of Debussy and Cézanne, for all the achievements of Joan of Arc and Napoleon, there just is something fishy about the French.
Featuring lack of historical reliability, the book has to be taken at the second degree. For example, to justify that French always lose the authors consider American war of independence as a "mutual defeat". In another argument French actress Marguerite Josephine Weimer is supposed to have said according to the authors "beaucoup le plus fort" when this sentence is grammatically incorrect in French and is a serious error of language, the quote has undoubtedly been invented by a non-French person.
The books is arranged into fifty chapters, each one examining some aspect of France from politics to sports to cuisine to history to pop music. While this is a book of journalistic humour, the authors substantiate their views throughout with tables, facts and quotes.
Writing in The Literary Review of April 2006, critic Alexander Waugh described the book:
Carefully and painstakingly, Eden and Clarke haul their readers across everything concerning French life and culture, explaining exactly why the whole lot of it is rubbish. They are brilliant on French pretentiousness, citing in particular art-films by Jean-Luc Godard and the fraudulent philosophies of Sartre and Derrida; they launch savage attacks on French political corruption, pointing their sharp "J'accuse" fingers at Chirac, François Mitterrand and Édith Cresson, while their excoriations of Napoleon Bonaparte and French humour are particularly delightful".