Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber (Daily Telegraph, 09/11/2006)
Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, who died on Tuesday aged 82, co-founded the French magazine L’Express and wrote Le Défi Américain (1967, “The American Challenge”), in which he brilliantly anticipated Europe’s economic and cultural decline in the face of the overwhelming penetration of American goods, services and ideas.
Servan-Schreiber saw the American challenge as a “confrontation of civilisations… in the battlefield of technology, science and management”. But unlike some of his compatriots who pressed the case for Gaullist protectionism, he believed passionately in free trade and open markets, and argued that the nations of Europe needed to learn from the American experience and unite to meet the challenge of American technological innovation. “The evil is not the capacity of the Americans, but rather the incapacity of the Europeans,” he wrote.
He had been a fervent admirer of the American Way ever since he had trained with the US Air Force during the Second World War.