Professor Keylor, who was named Chevalier de L'Ordre National du Mérite by the French government, gave a presentation on "France and America: The Love-Hate (Mostly Love) Relationship of Four Centuries," highlighting the ups and downs of the two countries' relations since the French provided essential support for the American war of independence. The only Western European country never to have fought against the United States, France is also the Western European country of greatest anti-Americanism. At the same time, the United States has experienced waves of Francophobia, most recently in 2003, when French Fries were replaced by Freedom Fries in the three House of Representatives cafeterias. Still, Professor Keylor suggested, more binds the two countries together than divides them, as four centuries of close relations make clear.
What divides them is often very funny, providing Sebastian Marx, a New Yorker who has lived in Paris for ten years, ready material to entertain a mixed French-American audience with stories of American adventures and misadventures in France.