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Paris (Illustrated Histories (Hippocrene)) [Kindle Edition]

Elaine Mokhtefi
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • File Size: 2724 KB
  • Print Length: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books (January 31, 2002)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003QP4C6O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,163,670 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
(4)
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do Paris in Two Hours September 23, 2006
By Ellie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Paris may be eternal, the city of light, but this brief intorduction to its history covers only the past three thousand years, but that's enough. This is not for scholars. It is for you and me; we want to get a glimpse of all Paris has been.

I believe the author does us a great service by giving us a survey, not an academic tome. I got a lot out of it. Did you know the vikings raided Paris in the late middle ages, not once but several times?

That rulers have, even to the present, feared the Paris mobs? That St. Denis was decapitated on Montmartre (mountain of the martyr) and according to tradition, carried his head to what is now a Paris suburb? That roman baths and arenas exist even now in the city? That the Eiffel tower once was in danger of being torn down?

And, Joan of Arc once fought to take the city, held by her enemies. And Joan of Arc herself, well ... You'll just have to read this well written history for the rest of us!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good primer July 5, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I agree with the reviewer who wrote this is a lot more history than you get from a guidebook but much less than a semester of French history. I read it after visiting Paris and already knowing a little history of what I was seeing (couldn't get it beforehand). Like the history section of a Frommer's or Fodor's, this gives a sense of the places you see (Louvre, Notre Dame, Tour Eiffel, etc.). Where it is lacking is storytelling detail for some of the more interesting events, such as the execution of Louis the XIV and Marie Antoinette. Its almost not mentioned. All in all, a worthy 175 pages to read before visiting Paris considering the time investment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading this short book will give you a brief overview of the history of Paris. It is a very easy read - not a child's book but a child could read it - but I wouldn't call the author a story-teller - she's not dry but there is little life in the narrative.

People often over Romanticize Paris but not Elaine Mokhtefi - she seemed at times a bit too negative, particularly regarding the earlier history/middle ages. Yes, it's bad to sugar coat it and there were horrible times, but it wasn't all bad - we wouldn't be who we are today without the good and bad.

This author glossed over large sections of the middle ages. In fact, almost half of the book dealt with the last 2 1/4 centuries,from the Revolution to the present (about 2002). In my opinion, if you want to know why Paris is the way it is, or at least the parts of Paris many people visit (Latin Quarter, Ile de la Cite, Marais, etc.) you should spend more time on the period between the start of 12th century to the end of the 16th century than the author chose to do here.

On the other hand, many of the actual buildings and monuments that attract us when we visit Paris are a bit newer. The author devotes some time to the various edifice and monuments put up by different rulers or during different epochs. That is the real key to understanding this book.

The targeted reader of this book will see a famous building and would like help placing it. Or they'll read an in depth depiction of what happened at a certain spot and want some historical context. That is where this book would come in - giving a little more continuity to the historical context than you usually get from a tourist or guide book, a better way to make sense of the kaleidoscope of names you'll read and hear while traveling to Paris.
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3.0 out of 5 stars i love paris in the summer June 16, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
we have visited paris several times. it is a beautiful city filled with many treasures. this book was too brief and too dry. parts of paris represent a planned city,the haussman boulevards. i wish the author would get her facts in order.
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