June, 21

Emotional Depth Meets Historical Accuracy as ‘French Kiss’ Chronicles a Pivotal Air Station’s Legacy

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French Kiss

Steve Bassett

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CHAS Control Tower

Steve Bassett’s “French Kiss” Explores Intertwined Fates of Americans and French at Dèols-Châteauroux Air Station During the Cold War

A comprehensive study, possibly even a love letter, explaining the impact and influence of a U.S. Air Force base, the Dèols-Châteauroux Air Station, on the French and Americans during the Cold War.”

— Reader Views

PALACITAS, NEW MEXICO, UNITED STATES, May 22, 2024 / — In “French Kiss,” award-winning author and journalist Steve Bassett offers an unparalleled glimpse into the coalesced lives of Americans and the French during the Cold War, centered around the pivotal Dèols-Châteauroux Air Station. This latest publication stands out for its rich historical narrative woven with poignant, personal accounts, earning acclaim for its emotional depth and accurate portrayal of an era marked by complex global tensions.

Reflecting on his inspiration for writing the book and the focus on the Dèols-Châteauroux Air Station during the Cold War, Bassett shared, “My wife and I are fortunate to own a small farm property within shouting distance of the long-closed Dèols-Châteauroux Air Station. My curiosity was piqued by the stories of locals who remembered the momentous sixteen years that the base was in operation during the very height of the Cold War.”

The release of “French Kiss” is timely, resonating with an era of global tension with clear parallels to today’s geopolitical climate. Bassett’s narrative invites readers to reflect on past lessons while considering current international relations, making it particularly relevant for understanding the complexities of our global community.

Photographs within the book add dimension to the anecdotes, signaling progress in areas of social integration and cultural exchange. These images not only authenticate the stories but also vividly illustrate the book’s primary message: the power of human connection to bridge divisions.

Through engaging stories, Bassett explores how the presence of the air station propelled economic and social change and left a cultural imprint that resonates to this day. He sheds light on the diverse impacts, from cultural shifts to the influence of propaganda on individual lives, painting a vivid picture of the socio-political environment of the time.

The response to “French Kiss” has been significant, especially among those with personal connections to the Dèols-Châteauroux Air Station. It is hailed as a poignant tribute to shared histories and serves as a potent reminder of the lasting impact of such moments in history, as noted:

• “As the only American who has tackled the task, Steve Bassett, in his book French Kiss has provided a one-of-a-kind insight into the sixteen-year life of an extraordinary air station closed by Charles de Gaulle’s imperial edict. I found it fascinating reading and an accurate portrayal of military life that will probably never be seen again.” — Air Force Major General John Riddle (Ret.)

• “The book is one of a kind. There have been many books written by French authors about the Americans in France during the Cold War, but never one by an American writer. I know the books that have been written and have read many of them myself. There has been nothing to match what this book offers – an American insight into how the French and the Americans came together, first because of Cold War demands, and eventually because of the deep friendship that had developed.” — Mme. Lydie Gerbaud, former Press Secretary for Jacques Chirac

• “Excellent writing, excellent character development, which brings the story to life. Strong theme that’s personally interesting to me, having seen several Japanese cities rise out of the ashes and turn into big industrial centers with the help of Uncle Sam. French Kiss’ complex prism provides a rare snapshot of Cold War realities faced by more than 20 million men and women who served overseas. It more than deserves a place in the current celebrity driven publishing world.” — Pete Noyes, Author of The Real L.A. Confidential

• “I belonged to a communist family, and I remember walking in the streets with petitions against the U.S. intrusion in France. People later realized that the Americans were manna from heaven who improved their lives. They were happy because of them. There were lots of communists on the base who wouldn’t have budged. And it wasn’t a contradiction for them. They were happy that the Americans were there. The American presence was our spell of sunny weather in all respects. But I must say, I am surprised that it is an American, not a Frenchman, that is giving an in-depth account of this period.” — Leandre Boizeau, La Bouinotte

FRENCH KISS (ISBN: 979-8218099350, Independently Published 2023) is available for purchase at bookstores, Amazon, and other online retailers. For additional information, visit the author’s website: Publicity contact: [email protected].

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French Kiss by Steve Bassett

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