A Strategy for Change: The Future of French Society

In This Review

A Strategy for Change: The Future of French Society

By Michel Crozier
MIT Press, 1982
230 pp. $17.50

A sociological essay of dazzling sanity, this is an analysis of the real "French disease," in the context of a wider analysis of Western problems of social control and individual life generally. Crozier rejects the fashionable charges of oppression in our societies; he argues that society today allows for remarkable freedom, burdened by increasing complexity. He sees a decline in our capacity to effect change, to make decisions-and for France suggests various practical strategies for freeing ways to innovation, especially in education, administration, the recruitment of elites, and in the use of knowledge. There is much common sense here: "The most powerful generator of social action is no longer material inequality but the feeling of humiliation." In his splendid foreword, Stanley Hoffmann writes: "It is not by coincidence that Tocqueville, Raymond Aron, and Crozier have had to criticize relentlessly both the complacency of the Right in power and the illusions of the Left in opposition"-a linkage that should please Crozier.

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