Ronald Katz



Ron Katz is an American journalist who has lived in Paris for the last 30 years. He has written extensively on travel and business issues for several newspapers and magazines, including the International Herald Tribune, the London Sunday Times, The Business Traveler, Europe and Airline Business.

He is now senior editor at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. Prior to coming to France, Mr. Katz worked for eight years in the U.S. Senate as a speechwriter and as staff director of the Senate Transportation Subcommittee.

French America, his widely acclaimed second book, was the subject of a special exhibition in Paris and has gone through two printings.




The French heritage in America

Ron Katz’s presentation, which lasts approximately one hour, explores the French architectural and cultural heritage in the United States from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico. Using a series of 40 color slide photographs to illustrate the variety and richness of the heritage, the presentation is divided into several sections:

1. Background : why the French first came to North America (a discussion of the early explorers, the fur trade, political conflicts with the English, and the religious impulse leading to colonization (the Jesuits and the Huguenots).

2. Terminology : explanation of the architectural terms pierrotage, bousillage, poteaux sur sole and poteaux-en-terre

3. The architectural heritage : a discussion and illustration of the four principal kinds of French structures found in the U.S : (a) fortresses; (b) Creole houses and plantations; (c) churches, cathedrals and convents; and (d) civic and urban architecture, including French architectural influences in the nation’s capitol. Examples of each are illustrated with color slides and their principal architectural characteristics explained.)

4. The Louisiana Purchase and the living heritage.

Mr. Katz’s presentation provides an insight into the fascinating – and little known – history of the continuing French influence in American life.


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Related Sites

  • Fondation Alliance Française
  • Alliance Française de Paris
  • Cultural Services of the French Embassy
  • Federation of Alliance Française USA

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