Somehow the French became the butt of jokes for decades in this country. But the truth is, there would hardly be an America as we know it if it weren’t for French thought and, considering the Marquis de Lafayette, a healthy portion of French might.

So as the France many of us loves prepares to be transformed forever with yet another influx of immigrants (and further outmigration of Jews–a tragedy for another day), we thought we should look back at the great philosophers and minds that helped shape our ideas of freedom, individuality, equality, and fraternity, not to mention film, music, love and lovers, and food!

Joining in studio are philosophy professor Rick Lee of DePaul and political science professor Marina Henke of Northwestern.

If you don’t think you’re a Francophile, start with the coming phrase. Perhaps you truly do appreciate the French outlook on life and just don’t know it yet:

 Mangez bien, rire souvent, aiment beaucoup!
(you can translate that…here)