French War Brides: Mademoiselle & The American Soldier

by hilary Kaiser

French War BridesFollowing both World War I and World War II, about 6,500 Franco-American marriages took place between French mademoiselles and American soldiers, be they “doughboys” or GI’s. These women, who came from different parts of France and diverse backgrounds, would later cross the Atlantic to join their husbands, settle in various corners of America, suffer culture shock, and adapt to marriage in a foreign land of postwar plenty with varying degrees of success. Despite the difficulties, like many other immigrants, they got on with it and survived. As the compelling oral histories in this book show, most of them did, in their own way, live the American Dream.



An admirable book on a neglected subject.
John G. Morris
World War II Picture Editor for Life magazine in London
Thumbing their noses at language barriers, cultural differences, and often at their parents, these Franco-American couples brought together in the heat of war or the glow of liberation let their passions rule…
Peter Ford
Christian Science Monitor
A fascinating contribution to intercultural literature…
Gaines Post
Professor Emeritus of European History, Claremont McKenna College  
Kaiser’s writing style and effort in translating and narrating the French women’s interviews make the book a quick and enjoyable read, and her superb introductory material gives readers useful context…
Kristin Steele
Daniel Library, The Citadel

Meticulously researched…wonderfully told… Hilary Kaiser speaks from the heart as she recounts the adventurous and challenging romances of these courageous women during and after war and before the advent of instant communication and transportation… A great read!
Lillian A. Pfluke
Founder and Executive Director of American War Memorials Overseas, Major U.S. Army Point, Class of 1980 West Point

About the author

Hilary Kaiser, Ph.D. is an oral historian and an associate professor emerita of intercultural communication at the University of Paris. She is also the author of WWII Voices: American GI’s and the French Women Who Married Them and Souvenirs de Vétérans. A dual American-French national, she currently divides her time between Paris, France and Berkeley, California.

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