How the French Invented Love
Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance
By Marilyn Yalom
(Harper Perennial; 400 pages; $15.99)
Americans are endlessly intrigued by the French: How do they stay so thin? Why do their children devour cassoulet and green beans without complaining? And how do they pull off all those adulterous affairs, menages a trois, same-sex liaisons and romantic reveries? What inspires them to love so passionately, anyway?