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Paris: The Secret History

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If Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon described daily life in contemporary Paris, this book describes daily life in Paris throughout its history: a history of the city from the point of view of the Parisians themselves. Paris captures everyone's imaginations: It's a backdrop for Proust's fictional pederast, Robert Doisneau's photographic kiss, and Edith Piaf's serenaded soldi If Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon described daily life in contemporary Paris, this book describes daily life in Paris throughout its history: a history of the city from the point of view of the Parisians themselves. Paris captures everyone's imaginations: It's a backdrop for Proust's fictional pederast, Robert Doisneau's photographic kiss, and Edith Piaf's serenaded soldier-lovers; a home as much to romance and love poems as to prostitution and opium dens. The many pieces of the city coexist, each one as real as the next. What's more, the conflicted identity of the city is visible everywhere—between cobblestones, in bars, on the métro. In this lively and lucid volume, Andrew Hussey brings to life the urchins and artists who've left their marks on the city, filling in the gaps of a history that affected the disenfranchised as much as the nobility. Paris: The Secret History ranges across centuries, movements, and cultural and political beliefs, from Napoleon's overcrowded cemeteries to Balzac's nocturnal flight from his debts. For Hussey, Paris is a city whose long and conflicted history continues to thrive and change. The book's is a picaresque journey through royal palaces, brothels, and sidewalk cafés, uncovering the rich, exotic, and often lurid history of the world's most beloved city.


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If Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon described daily life in contemporary Paris, this book describes daily life in Paris throughout its history: a history of the city from the point of view of the Parisians themselves. Paris captures everyone's imaginations: It's a backdrop for Proust's fictional pederast, Robert Doisneau's photographic kiss, and Edith Piaf's serenaded soldi If Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon described daily life in contemporary Paris, this book describes daily life in Paris throughout its history: a history of the city from the point of view of the Parisians themselves. Paris captures everyone's imaginations: It's a backdrop for Proust's fictional pederast, Robert Doisneau's photographic kiss, and Edith Piaf's serenaded soldier-lovers; a home as much to romance and love poems as to prostitution and opium dens. The many pieces of the city coexist, each one as real as the next. What's more, the conflicted identity of the city is visible everywhere—between cobblestones, in bars, on the métro. In this lively and lucid volume, Andrew Hussey brings to life the urchins and artists who've left their marks on the city, filling in the gaps of a history that affected the disenfranchised as much as the nobility. Paris: The Secret History ranges across centuries, movements, and cultural and political beliefs, from Napoleon's overcrowded cemeteries to Balzac's nocturnal flight from his debts. For Hussey, Paris is a city whose long and conflicted history continues to thrive and change. The book's is a picaresque journey through royal palaces, brothels, and sidewalk cafés, uncovering the rich, exotic, and often lurid history of the world's most beloved city.

30 review for Paris: The Secret History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Warwick

    I was disappointed by this one. There are a lot of entertaining historical anecdotes in here, but somehow as a whole it doesn't quite hang together. Part of the problem is that it wants to be more than just a factual history. Hussey says in the prologue that he is modelling the project on Peter Ackroyd's wonderful London: The Biography, but that sets the bar pretty high. He is decent when he sticks to the facts, but when he starts trying to be metaphysical, he just doesn't have Ackroyd's control, I was disappointed by this one. There are a lot of entertaining historical anecdotes in here, but somehow as a whole it doesn't quite hang together. Part of the problem is that it wants to be more than just a factual history. Hussey says in the prologue that he is modelling the project on Peter Ackroyd's wonderful London: The Biography, but that sets the bar pretty high. He is decent when he sticks to the facts, but when he starts trying to be metaphysical, he just doesn't have Ackroyd's control, and ends up drawing rather silly and pseudo-profound conclusions like, "The death of [Princess] Diana [...] could only have happened here [...] she is only the latest and most famous example of those who have been fatally seduced here." And so on. Part of the reason Ackroyd was so good at moving beyond facts into "psychogeography" (or whatever you want to call it) is that he took a catholic, thematic approach to his history. Hussey just starts with the Celts and works his way methodically forwards in time. Of course there's nothing wrong with that as a methodology, but it does mean he has to work hard to keep each chapter coherent, and occasionally it slips away from him. The book's focus is neither one thing or the other. It claims to be a "secret" history which examines the city's underclasses, its back-alleys and criminals and occultists. Yet there is a strong relience on fairly un-secret narratives about kings and presidents and other "great men" or important dates. The result is that neither strand seems wholly satisfying. Having one eye on the downtrodden was a good idea, and it provides the book with most of its best stories. It's great to hear details about things like the "bread of Madame Montpensier" (which used flour from ground-up human bones, during food shortages), or about the semi-mythical King of Thieves holding court over the city's beggars. But too often, his remit manifests itself only in a vague fascination with what he calls "whores", and a predilection for details which, while often interesting, can sometimes seem juvenile. Finally, the quality of the writing itself irritated me. He does not know the difference between "flout" and "flaunt". He uses the seismological term "epicentre" as a lazy synonym for "centre". The net result of all this is a feeling that Hussey has a wealth of information about Paris, but not a very good idea about how to organise it or talk about it. You'll get some interesting stuff out of this book, but it's more of an effort than it should be.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jill Hutchinson

    If you love Paris as the City of Light, this book might change your opinion. The author digs deep into the history of the people and neighborhoods and it is not a pretty picture. He covers the city from pre-Roman times until the present day and because he has to cram a lot of history into 433 pages some events (the Revolution, Napoleon,etc.) are given short shrift. But this is a "secret" history,a social history, and not your typical history book so it is a forgivable sin. A familiarity with the If you love Paris as the City of Light, this book might change your opinion. The author digs deep into the history of the people and neighborhoods and it is not a pretty picture. He covers the city from pre-Roman times until the present day and because he has to cram a lot of history into 433 pages some events (the Revolution, Napoleon,etc.) are given short shrift. But this is a "secret" history,a social history, and not your typical history book so it is a forgivable sin. A familiarity with the city of Paris, although not a requirement, helps the reader understand and visualize how the city and the attitudes of Parisians evolved. An excellent book for the lover of everything Parisian.

  3. 4 out of 5

    'Aussie Rick'

    An engaging and at times humorous and dark look at the secret history of Paris, the history of this city as seen by the poor, the disposed, the criminals, the prostitutes, poets, artists and the rebels throughout this cities history. It’s a fun romp through history and the city, travelling to places and areas known and unknown and learning some interesting aspects of the history behind those places and people. The author takes great relish in telling many of his stories, like this about a certai An engaging and at times humorous and dark look at the secret history of Paris, the history of this city as seen by the poor, the disposed, the criminals, the prostitutes, poets, artists and the rebels throughout this cities history. It’s a fun romp through history and the city, travelling to places and areas known and unknown and learning some interesting aspects of the history behind those places and people. The author takes great relish in telling many of his stories, like this about a certain bar in Paris - 'La Palette' in the Introduction of the book; "It is exclusive and can be intimidating. The waiters share private jokes with regulars; to the rest of us they serve sarcasm and contempt with evident relish but no extra charge." The legend of Genevieve saving Paris from the hordes of Attila; "But then Attila, suddenly and miraculously, turned his attention further south to the richer and more prestigious prizes that could be more easily won (cynics of the period slyly suggested that Attila's change of course was because he had been told the women of Paris were not worth raping)." In 1408 the Provost marshal (grand prevot) had hung two university students for murder but after a lengthy court case the university won their case and the courts ordered that the two rotting corpses be conveyed to the convent of Les Mathurins to be laid to rest; "Most chilling was the punishment demanded by the university lawyer, who ordered Guillaume to kiss both students on the lips to show his contrition as the stinking bodies were taken down. The order was carried out." A story about Catherine de Medicis; "But Catherine could be sceptical and scoffed easily at astrologers who made mistakes. 'Tis a pity he couldn't see his own future,' she remarked of one notorious charlatan who had been robbed and killed outside the city limits." During the siege of Paris conducted by Henri IV (Henri de Navarre); "Most melancholy of all was the tale of a noblewoman, a widow, whose two children had died of hunger. Unable to buy bread, she had roasted the children with the aid of her housekeeper and over two weeks eaten them every evening, tears streaming down her cheeks. Unsurprisingly, the woman and her servant died within days." So in conclusion this book may not be for everyone’s taste and the research may not be as thorough and as detailed as some would like but overall it was a decent and enjoyable account of a city that I love to visit and I felt I learnt a few things on the way.

  4. 5 out of 5

    sslyb

    I don't know how secret any of the book's contents are. It is a book I've been reading for many, many months. Reading it has led me to read other books and articles along the way. I don't know how secret any of the book's contents are. It is a book I've been reading for many, many months. Reading it has led me to read other books and articles along the way.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Finch

    Two out of five stars. This was engaging, but only fitfully so; the best chapters come at the beginning and then again towards the end. But this is nothing spectacular. Hussey commits errors in his writing (for example, alleging that Madame de Maintenon collaborated on a pornographic booklet, which is laughable) and barely acknowledges how women have lived in Paris unless it is to blame them for things (i.e. Catherine de Medici) or focus on prostitution. In fact, prostitution seems to be a major Two out of five stars. This was engaging, but only fitfully so; the best chapters come at the beginning and then again towards the end. But this is nothing spectacular. Hussey commits errors in his writing (for example, alleging that Madame de Maintenon collaborated on a pornographic booklet, which is laughable) and barely acknowledges how women have lived in Paris unless it is to blame them for things (i.e. Catherine de Medici) or focus on prostitution. In fact, prostitution seems to be a major fixation for him, and he constantly refers to these women as whores. Oh, and while he takes great pains to explain the reasons why eighteenth and nineteenth-century revolutions were spurred by abysmal conditions affecting the poorest classes, he refuses to acknowledge that this is the same catalyst that motivates the Black, Arab, and immigrant classes in the banlieues who have rebelled more recently. A disappointing read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    Excellent history of Paris. Don't just read it before you go. Take it with you. Excellent history of Paris. Don't just read it before you go. Take it with you.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael Neiberg

    Ugh. Boring, less than an inch deep, and factually wrong in many places.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    I enjoyed this book quite a bit. This is an history of Paris from Roman times to the present focusing on the working classes, the revolutionary, the thieves, the homeless, the prostitutes, the students, the literary underground, and other people on the margins. So often history is told from the perspectives of the royalty, the nobles, and the borgeousie, and it's refreshing whenever one gets to read about the lives of everyday people. The sheer scope of the time period covered means that Hussey I enjoyed this book quite a bit. This is an history of Paris from Roman times to the present focusing on the working classes, the revolutionary, the thieves, the homeless, the prostitutes, the students, the literary underground, and other people on the margins. So often history is told from the perspectives of the royalty, the nobles, and the borgeousie, and it's refreshing whenever one gets to read about the lives of everyday people. The sheer scope of the time period covered means that Hussey often doesn't go into a lot of detail, and there are many off-handed comments that left me intrigued and wanting to learn more about certain incidents or people. Still, as an overview, this was very interesting portrait of a city and it's people constantly in flux. It's fairly readable, although sometimes I found Hussey's style to be somewhat lacking, and there are some bizarre grammar constructs that left me shaking my head and rereading paragraphs over and over to figure out what he was trying to say. Recommended for the casual student of history and those interested in Paris.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dolores

    This book was alright, but I wish I had read a standard French history instead. The topics I was really interested in (like the Revolution, Napoleon, the Commune) he seemed to gloss over, since he focused more on everyday life in Paris. Also I felt like he kept saying the same thing over and over: the Parisians kept getting screwed by their government, revolting, were put down and convinced by glitz and glamour that life was ok, then got screwed again, ad infinitum. I suppose this is true, but h This book was alright, but I wish I had read a standard French history instead. The topics I was really interested in (like the Revolution, Napoleon, the Commune) he seemed to gloss over, since he focused more on everyday life in Paris. Also I felt like he kept saying the same thing over and over: the Parisians kept getting screwed by their government, revolting, were put down and convinced by glitz and glamour that life was ok, then got screwed again, ad infinitum. I suppose this is true, but he didn't present it in a compelling way.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tosh

    This is a remarkable biography of one of my favorite cities - Paris. What makes it unique is that the author approached it via the eyes, ears, and thoughts of all the revolutionaries as well as the subversive classes/artists who made up the city. Hussy also wrote a really good Guy Debord biography. It's kind of unique because there are not that many biographies on Debord written by a foriegner. Well, at least now there are two. I am sure there will be more in the near future. This is a remarkable biography of one of my favorite cities - Paris. What makes it unique is that the author approached it via the eyes, ears, and thoughts of all the revolutionaries as well as the subversive classes/artists who made up the city. Hussy also wrote a really good Guy Debord biography. It's kind of unique because there are not that many biographies on Debord written by a foriegner. Well, at least now there are two. I am sure there will be more in the near future.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Albert

    A good social history of Paris but there is nothing secret about it. Perhaps it's simply because so much has been written about the "underbelly" of Paris and other cities that it no longer feels so "under." A good social history of Paris but there is nothing secret about it. Perhaps it's simply because so much has been written about the "underbelly" of Paris and other cities that it no longer feels so "under."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Riley Steffey

    Read this book to prepare for a trip that, alas, never got to be (ironically, it was scheduled for March 2020- not a good time to be in Europe!!). Nonetheless, a very fun and informative read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nosemonkey

    This didn't get only three stars because this isn't well-written, or that it's not fun and interesting - but because it's so inconsistent and hard to follow. It purports ti be the "story of a city and its people", but can't decide which people. Mostly it seems to be the story of kings, occasionally writers, very rarely others. It both assumes a lot of prior knowledge of French history and explains the well-known at length - including things that have little specifically to do with Paris - but th This didn't get only three stars because this isn't well-written, or that it's not fun and interesting - but because it's so inconsistent and hard to follow. It purports ti be the "story of a city and its people", but can't decide which people. Mostly it seems to be the story of kings, occasionally writers, very rarely others. It both assumes a lot of prior knowledge of French history and explains the well-known at length - including things that have little specifically to do with Paris - but then passes over specifically, uniquely Parisian events like the Revolution and barricades of 1848 in mere paragraphs, ignoring the vast numbers of fascinating people who could have made for great diversions. Basically, I can't work out the author's criteria for what to include and ignore. This lack of a clear schema means you're better off with a tourist guide for the linear narrative history, a literary guide for the cultural, and a social history for an insight into the people. This covers parts of all, none of them comprehensively enough to be fully satisfying - but well enough to make me want to find out more. From a more coherent, consistent book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    Three and a half years later, I have finally finished this book. Though the timeline may make this hard to believe, I really did enjoy this. I learned so much about Parisian history, and this brought Paris’ entire messy, bloody backstory to light. I love Paris - I started this book on my first trip there and was able to go back again this year - but I’m a tourist. I don’t know the entire history, the depths of what the city has been through. But there’s just something about it. It’s slow, but I Three and a half years later, I have finally finished this book. Though the timeline may make this hard to believe, I really did enjoy this. I learned so much about Parisian history, and this brought Paris’ entire messy, bloody backstory to light. I love Paris - I started this book on my first trip there and was able to go back again this year - but I’m a tourist. I don’t know the entire history, the depths of what the city has been through. But there’s just something about it. It’s slow, but I would recommend this to my fellow francophiles. It brings great context to the City of Light, reminding us that it’s not all romance and enchantment. It’s complicated, which of course makes it all the more fascinating.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marguerite Kaye

    Brilliant social history of Paris from its early origins. Full of fascinating little snippets and personal histories, highly opinionated, extremely entertaining and an excellent read. Paris is one of my favourite cities, and this put a whole new slant on it. Love it. Second read, August 2018. I read this after Alastair Horne's Seven Ages of Paris. The books are very similar, highly readable and covering a breathtaking span of history, but I enjoyed Horne's book much more. You certainly don't need Brilliant social history of Paris from its early origins. Full of fascinating little snippets and personal histories, highly opinionated, extremely entertaining and an excellent read. Paris is one of my favourite cities, and this put a whole new slant on it. Love it. Second read, August 2018. I read this after Alastair Horne's Seven Ages of Paris. The books are very similar, highly readable and covering a breathtaking span of history, but I enjoyed Horne's book much more. You certainly don't need to read both, and if you already have this one, there's not much point in buying the other, but if you're stuck between the two then I'd go for Seven Ages of Paris.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I took this to the city itself to see if I could find inspiration in either. I didn't. Well, the city was okay, but the book wasn't interesting enough to even divert me on the bus from Porte Maillot to Beauvais. And that is a boring trip. The section on the war was quite interesting, but could have done with being longer, and I couldn't get a feel for life in the city regardless of which era I dipped into. Perhaps the sweep was too big, and I bet there are five hundred page tomes dedicated to wa I took this to the city itself to see if I could find inspiration in either. I didn't. Well, the city was okay, but the book wasn't interesting enough to even divert me on the bus from Porte Maillot to Beauvais. And that is a boring trip. The section on the war was quite interesting, but could have done with being longer, and I couldn't get a feel for life in the city regardless of which era I dipped into. Perhaps the sweep was too big, and I bet there are five hundred page tomes dedicated to wartime Paris, never mind on the history of the place from Cro-Magnon times.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kayt

    I loved this book. It appealed to my love of history! While there were times when I had to research the historical context taking place beyond Paris itself, it's a great walk through the history of the city that doesn't get sidetracked by the events taking place at a larger national or international level. I loved this book. It appealed to my love of history! While there were times when I had to research the historical context taking place beyond Paris itself, it's a great walk through the history of the city that doesn't get sidetracked by the events taking place at a larger national or international level.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Manish Katyal

    It has the stuff that the French hide under the rug - deeply engrained anti-semitism and their sordid history of collaborating with Nazis.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Nebauer

    This is a fascinating history of a city admired for its architecture and sighed over by romantics. There is nothing 'secret' but Hussey has put in an enormous amount of work synthesising a mass of writings into a readable one-volume format. It follows the development of the city from the pre-Roman period (when it was a Gallic settlement called Lutetia) to the early years of the current century. For much of Paris' history, it was a city of tiny streets - successive layers of building, demolition a This is a fascinating history of a city admired for its architecture and sighed over by romantics. There is nothing 'secret' but Hussey has put in an enormous amount of work synthesising a mass of writings into a readable one-volume format. It follows the development of the city from the pre-Roman period (when it was a Gallic settlement called Lutetia) to the early years of the current century. For much of Paris' history, it was a city of tiny streets - successive layers of building, demolition and re-development each leave their marks. It introduces readers to many fascinating episodes of European history, though its impact on Paris remains the central feature. A work of this scope will sometimes have trouble deciding where to draw lines and readers may sometimes find that they wanted more on, for example, the Napoleonic Wars. There is a good bibliography, much of it in English as well as French. Where this work really shines is Hussey's knowledge of French film and literature. A notepad and pen will give you a treasure trove of French culture for you to savour. One thing that becomes clear from Hussey's work is that there has always been 'two cities' in Paris. Rich and poor have always 'simmered' together in mutual hostility, with revolt breaking out periodically as poor and working-class Parisians tried to even the score with their masters. The events of 1789 and 1968 (both very different kinds of revolts) arise from seldom-absent class tensions. Paris can treat its citizens brutally. The guillotine is remembered, but more than 6000 Communards (the real figure likely to be much higher) were killed by government troops in 1871 - many lined up and simply shot out of hand. There was the ruthless response when police attacked Algerian demonstrators in October 1961, 'later dignified with the name "the Battle of Paris", but it was really just another massacre in a long line of Parisian mass murders'. The rounding up of the city's Jewish population was also not a 'blip'. It was part of a long undercurrent of anti-Semitism that included medieval murders and expulsions, the Dreyfus Affair, and explains why some Parisians were happy to collaborate with their German occupiers during World War Two. With any work of this scope, there will be some factual errors. It's not true, for example, that the later Roman army was deficient in heavy cavalry; mailed cavalry was the cornerstone of late Imperial Roman armies. But the scope and depth of this work will reward those who want to know more about their favourite city.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maggy

    Having just finished this book, I have to say, I wasn't impressed. The author focused mainly on philosophical movements and the sex life of the Parisians. It got repetitive very quickly. There was also a problem with linearity; the author would jump from one date to a future date, then back again. Commas were grossly lacking (I had to reread several sentences), and some words were either misused or misspelled. The book was short, and, for its length, well-packed with facts. It got very annoying t Having just finished this book, I have to say, I wasn't impressed. The author focused mainly on philosophical movements and the sex life of the Parisians. It got repetitive very quickly. There was also a problem with linearity; the author would jump from one date to a future date, then back again. Commas were grossly lacking (I had to reread several sentences), and some words were either misused or misspelled. The book was short, and, for its length, well-packed with facts. It got very annoying to look up every other person the author left hanging, however ("X died suspiciously."). The book also glossed over the lives of many important people (the author usually mentioned the sexual orientation, but not much else). If you want to get a fairly political overview, and learn just who was gay in Paris, it's fine. It's not a book I'll be keeping to reread.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Strange

    This well researched history does present a good history of Paris with all the adventure of counts, kings, archbishops and their politics and wars, but it focuses on common people--Parisians of all classes, with their common struggles to prosper and survive through those adventures controlled by the counts, kings and archbishops. Warning: the history also focuses on the underclasses with their sordid and R rated challenges and issues, handled frankly, factually, and tastefully. Actually, some of This well researched history does present a good history of Paris with all the adventure of counts, kings, archbishops and their politics and wars, but it focuses on common people--Parisians of all classes, with their common struggles to prosper and survive through those adventures controlled by the counts, kings and archbishops. Warning: the history also focuses on the underclasses with their sordid and R rated challenges and issues, handled frankly, factually, and tastefully. Actually, some of the R rated material spans all classes. Because of the frank presentation of R rated parts of Paris's history, and there are numerous, this history may be a bit offensive for some sensitive readers.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Sedinger

    This is a good one-volume history of Paris, written engagingly and methodically. It doesn't quite seem to provide what it claims, though; the focus isn't as tightly on the Parisian underworld and counterculture as is claimed in the blurbs. At times the book is simply a straight-up history of French nobles and monarchs, with little underworld and counterculture to be found at all. The book is a perfectly decent one-volume, readable history of one of the world's great cities, but it's not always w This is a good one-volume history of Paris, written engagingly and methodically. It doesn't quite seem to provide what it claims, though; the focus isn't as tightly on the Parisian underworld and counterculture as is claimed in the blurbs. At times the book is simply a straight-up history of French nobles and monarchs, with little underworld and counterculture to be found at all. The book is a perfectly decent one-volume, readable history of one of the world's great cities, but it's not always what it says it's going to be.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Don Heiman

    In 2006 Andrew Hussey, Head of French and Comparative Literature at the University of London Institute in Paris, published "Paris the Secret History". This book is written with a sense of humor and passion. In the book, Hussey traces the cultural history of the city of Paris from its founding 300 years BC into the early 2000's AD. The story lines, description of terrain-architectures, and discussions of cultural mores are breathtaking. It is a must read for anyone who plans to visit the city or In 2006 Andrew Hussey, Head of French and Comparative Literature at the University of London Institute in Paris, published "Paris the Secret History". This book is written with a sense of humor and passion. In the book, Hussey traces the cultural history of the city of Paris from its founding 300 years BC into the early 2000's AD. The story lines, description of terrain-architectures, and discussions of cultural mores are breathtaking. It is a must read for anyone who plans to visit the city or relishes French culture. (L/P)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Russel Henderson

    A fun read that would have been easier to follow with the addition of a few more maps. Perhaps they were included in the hardcover edition, but the couple in the paperback were not especially helpful. Hussey's book was wide-ranging, horizontally and vertically, touching on everything from intellectual and political history to that of vice. A number of the subjects were worthy of their own book-length treatment (some, particularly the Commune, the Resistance, and 1968, of course have been). An in A fun read that would have been easier to follow with the addition of a few more maps. Perhaps they were included in the hardcover edition, but the couple in the paperback were not especially helpful. Hussey's book was wide-ranging, horizontally and vertically, touching on everything from intellectual and political history to that of vice. A number of the subjects were worthy of their own book-length treatment (some, particularly the Commune, the Resistance, and 1968, of course have been). An interesting survey and certainly a spur to additional study.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daria

    Been living in Paris for many years and discovered many things. I understand that for people who only pass their holidays and never really settle here this book might be not so interesting. But for Parisians it’s a good read. He doesn’t speak almost about rich people because Paris has always been for the poor, middle class, and tons of tourists. They are “the secret ingredient” of this city.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lady_bercilak

    A comprehensive overview of the history of Paris from prehistoric times to the present day. More weighted towards the more recent history, as one might expect, but a really rewarding read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Prehistory-2005 History of Paris from the viewpoint of "the dangerous classes" Prehistory-2005 History of Paris from the viewpoint of "the dangerous classes"

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    Voluminous history of the dirty part of Paris, both literally and figuratively.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sam Davison

    This is a very entertaining and readable book. It doesn't just stick to dry facts, but brings Paris and the people who lived in this glorious city to the reader with c harm and brilliance. This is a very entertaining and readable book. It doesn't just stick to dry facts, but brings Paris and the people who lived in this glorious city to the reader with c harm and brilliance.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susu

    Paris history from the very start up to today - diving into details, focussing on the lives of regular people

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