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Paris

The Biography of a City

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

From the Roman Emperor Julian, who waxed rhapsodic about Parisian wine and figs, to Henry Miller, who relished its seductive bohemia, Paris has been a perennial source of fascination for 2,000 years. In this definitive and illuminating history, Colin Jones walks us through the city that was a plague-infested charnel house during the Middle Ages, the bloody epicenter of the French Revolution, the muse of nineteenth-century Impressionist painters, and much more. Jones’s masterful narrative is enhanced by numerous photographs and feature boxes—on the Bastille or Josephine Baker, for instance—that complete a colorful and comprehensive portrait of a place that has endured Vikings, Black Death, and the Nazis to emerge as the heart of a resurgent Europe. This is a thrilling companion for history buffs and backpack, or armchair, travelers alike.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 07, 2005 – Jones, a historian at Britain's University of Warwick, has written a remarkable account of the most celebrated city in the world that blends history, literary sensibility and experience in an understated, affectionate but not sentimental voice. Moving from prehistoric tribal habitation through Roman times, medieval uncertainty and splendor, early modern religious wars, Enlightenment, revolution, and two world wars, Jones examines how rulers, economy, religion and violence have shaped the city. With a concrete sense of place, he evokes the layering of history revealed in the monuments and less visible remnants of the past. While one might deplore the loss of an earlier Paris in wartime ravages and the triumphs and failures of city planning (especially under the infamous Haussmann), one begins to sense that the extent to which the city has been built, embellished, demolished and rebuilt contributes to its vibrancy. Boxed inserts in each chapter that elaborate on locations and themes at first seem awkwardly placed, but their worth in tying together time and place quickly becomes clear: now-hidden rivers and city walls, a barely recognizable Roman amphitheater, the evolution of restaurants and numerous other sites and topics emerge. The poetry of place established in the early chapters is occasionally overwhelmed by the intensive detail of later time periods, but anyone who loves Paris will find connections and revelations here, a Paris of the mind that resonates through the centuries. B&w illus. (On sale Apr. 25)

Customer Reviews

Paris: The Biography of a City

I am midway through this book and greatly enjoying it. However, I am confounded by the apparent reversal of direction of flow of the Seine that appears throughout [e.g.: "…goods from upstream were unloaded at the Saint-Germain port near to the Louvre and then moved across town by land to the Grève ports for despatch downstream…" and "A landing stage was built at Saint-Pol to allow the king to flee by water, if required, either downstream to the fortress of Vincennes or upstream to the Louvre." Perhaps I am befuddled by a British usage that differs from the American? In any case, it is a minor distraction for the moment.

Paris
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Europe
  • Published: Apr 21, 2005
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: PENGUIN GROUP USA, INC.
  • Print Length: 592 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings