From New Left Review, here are dispatches from France during Sarkozy’s first hundred days. For years the French expected their politicians to be discreet, keeping their public and private lives separate. But Nicolas Sarkozy has changed all that, courting the paparazzi and flaunting his girlfriends. Each nation establishes its borders, sometimes defines itself, certainly organises itself, and always affirms itself around its language: Against this backdrop, immigrants from ever more distant shores have arrived in France, bringing with them a different style of expression and another, more fluid, concept of language. A review of Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy by Eric D. Weit (and more). German urban planners have never been as active worldwide as they are today, and Albert Speer is the protagonist in the current success story. The first chapter from From Communists to Foreign Capitalists: The Social Foundations of Foreign Direct Investment in Postsocialist Europe by Nina Bandelj. Giles Merritt on Europe’s Russia question. In Russia, as elsewhere, a lack of transparency feeds a gangster culture that hamstrings social and economic progress.

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