I read this book to prepare for my upcoming personal Tour de France with my daughter and sister. THE DISCOVERY OF FRANCE was thoroughly researched and provided a unique perspective on the development of a nation. Robb is a talented storyteller, weaving encyclopedic facts into compelling narratives. I would have rated it 4 stars, but there were a few moments here and there that came off a bit “preachy.” However don’t let that deter you from reading this book. You’ll never look at France, or any nation/culture for that matter, the same way again. I will certainly keep my eyes open for pays (past, present, and future) as we tour, though it will be by car instead of bicycle.