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High Season: How One French Riviera Town Has Seduced Travelers for Two Thousand Years Hardcover – June 3, 2002

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From Publishers Weekly

Kanigel (The One Best Way; Apprentice to Genius) has mined two centuries of memories (through diaries, photographs, snippets of letters and snapshots of love affairs) from the collections of everyone from American G.I.s and Russian queens united only in their choice of holiday destination to write a book about the enduring and ever-changing charm of the Riviera's first city, Nice. Not that the Nice of today, beloved of British package holiday makers and inveterate gamblers, is the same Nice once favored for its healthful air and curative atmosphere by European royalty. This is not a Polaroid of a place fixed in time, but at once a sepia photograph, a black and white print and a digital image of a succession of adaptable cities. Kanigel traces the impact of the evolution of science, revolution, transport and world wars on this city. Airports, socialist governments and peace treaties come under the same microscope as fashionable tans and the influence of Brigitte Bardot. He links his subjects with consummate skill, supporting social theories with diary excerpts and contemporary news reports to produce an ardently researched, enlightening report on a city that becomes, through the course of this study, a marker for change, an indicator of social mores and fashions and a case study for the rise of tourism as an industry and an art form. Illus.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In this history of the French Riviera town of Nice, Kanigel writes in a witty, humorous style of the settlement that has drawn travelers to its sun-kissed beaches since the time of the Roman Empire. The Nicois identity is part Italian and part French, but all residents enjoy a classless leisure and a common culture of pleasure. Nice has attracted the artistic and famous for centuries, as Kanigel notes with delightful tidbits of escapades and wild carnivals. The town's dark periods are noted as well. When Germany occupied France and the Vichy government was in place, French collaborators helped Nazis hunt down thousands of local and foreign Jews living in Nice. Jews were picked up at the very luxury hotels and beaches where they had been welcomed only weeks earlier and packed onto trains headed for the death camps. But the town recovered after the war, and travelers returned. Nice's support of the arts has always been constant as has the seductive promise of the beautiful tourist town that has something for everyone. Eileen Hardy
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (June 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670899887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670899883
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,800,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Kanigel was born in Brooklyn, NY, but for most of his adult life has lived in Baltimore, MD, where he lives today. He has written seven books, on wildly differing subjects. His second, "The Man Who Knew Infinity," was named a National Book Critics Circle finalist, a Los Angeles book Prize finalist, a New York Public Library "Book to Remember," has been translated into Italian, German, Greek, Chinese, and other languages, and is being made into a film starring Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel. His latest book, for which he was named recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, is "On an Irish Island," set on a windswept island village off the coast of Ireland. He is currently finishing a biography of Jane Jacobs to be published by Knopf.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By KSG on May 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is not a "delightful romp" through history, but rather, the longest magazine article ever written. 2000 years are glossed over, and the reader is given nothing more than crumbs to nibble on. For example, during WW 2, Europe's Jews flocked to Nice trying to escape the Nazis and it wasn't long before the Nazis soon followed. This could have been fleshed out into something real - actually it could have been a book unto itself - but here it's given a scant 12 pages of exploration. By the end of the book, I felt like I just watched a parade go by. Kanigel is a wonderful writer, but this book is just too superficial to provide any real satisfaction.
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