For our Summer Series we sat down with Sophie Pedder, the Paris Bureau Chief of The Economist. Over the last couple of years, she interviewed Macron several times. Her new book is called Revolution Française: Emmanuel Macron and the Quest to Reinvent a Nation.

We had a very interesting and entertaining conversation with Sophie on President Macron, but also about the challenges of living in France and about Brexit.

Note: This Episode was recorded a couple of days before the story of #Benallagate broke, the scandal that seriously tarnished Macron’s image as the Wonder Boy of European politics.

James Barr

Author James Barr

In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, two men secretly agreed to divide the Middle East between them. Sir Mark Sykes was a visionary politician; François Georges-Picot a diplomat with a grudge. The deal they struck, which was designed to relieve tensions that threatened to engulf the Entente Cordiale, drew a line in the sand from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier.

alinecoverUsing newly declassified papers from the British and French archives, James Barr brings this overlooked clandestine struggle back to life, and reveals, for the first time, the stunning way in which the French finally got their revenge in the fascinating book A Line in the Sand.

So French spoke to James Barr, exactly a Century after the Sykes-Picot Agreement. You can listen to the entire interview here.

The Author’s website
James Barr on Twitter


Recorded in Paris, via Skype, on May 27, 2016.