of Polly Platt
Polly Platt at home in Paris
Polly Platt's love affair with France started when, at eight, her
parents dumped her in a château with no one to talk to but the servants
and a donkey. Later she would say that the sweetness of the servants
and the orneriness of the donkey were the daily tug of war that
was the French genius, which she would study more closely when,
breaking off a career in journalism, she moved there with her family
in 1967. In 1989, distressed at the French-bashing parties of Americans
in Paris, she founded Culture Crossings and began giving cultural
adaptation seminars for foreigners, executives from companies such
as General Motors, 3M, Coca Cola, Microsoft and JP Morgan.
The tales they told of their flaps in France became the spice of
her 1994 bestseller, French or Foe?.
The book is a romp through the business, social and cultural complexities
of French culture. Now in its third edition and considered the reference
for executives of Franco-American companies, travelers, and students
of French at U.S. universities, it had rave reviews across the U.S.,
the U.K. and France, plus various television and radio interviews,
including one live from Cannes by Bryant Gumble for the TODAY SHOW.
The Financial Times dubbed it "the Bible" for Anglo-Saxons.
Platt's second book, Savoir-Flair!
211 Tips for Enjoying France and the French, published
in 2000 as a companion to French or Foe?, established
Platt as the American cultural guru for France, as Matt Lauer recognized
in May 2000 when he interviewed her for the TODAY SHOW halfway up
the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on one of his whirlwind visits.
Her third book, the recently published Love
à la Française - What Happens When Hervé Meets Sally?,
follows the lives of Anglo-Saxon women in France as they try to
cope with the challenges of French culture and the French loves
of their life.
Platt was an experienced and entertaining speaker at company events.
She was chosen to give the keynote speeches at conventions for Andersen
Consulting, the European Venture Capital Association (EVCA) in Barcelona,
Paribas Bank in Amsterdam, Dassault Falcon Jets in Key West, Florida,
The American Association of Teachers of French in Saint Louis and
A native Philadelphian descended from a French Huguenot who escaped
from France to Charleston, N.C., in 1685, she graduated from Wellesley
College and was a journalist with the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin
and the New York Post. She lived in Vienna with her first husband,
Fritz P. Molden, and later married UNESCO Official Alexander Grchich
Dalyac von Cvetkovacz and moved to Paris with her children and her
Polly died of pneumonia and heart failure on December 26, 2008 in