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Paris After the Liberation Hardcover – July 1, 1994

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 479 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (July 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385471955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385471954
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Early postwar France saw the trials of collaborationist leaders, de Gaulle's reestablishment of the republic and his abrupt resignation in 1946, widespread panic at the prospect of a Communist or right-wing coup and the arrival of Marshall Plan aid, which rescued the country from economic collapse. This engaging chronicle set in Paris--a magnet for Picasso, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus, Wright, Orwell, Hemingway, Breton, Koestler, Philby--captures the desperation and exhilaration of those years through a blend of history, eyewitness accounts, interviews, telling incident and gossip. Beevor ( The Spanish Civil War ) and Cooper ( Cairo in the War: 1939-1945 ) illuminate the blind Stalinism of France's "progressive" intelligentsia, protracted enmity between resisters and collaborators, early years of the Cold War and France's love-hate relationship with the U.S.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Husband-and-wife team of Beevor and Cooper have produced a thorough, fascinating account of postwar Paris. The authors focus on three themes: the bitter struggle of Resistance supporters against the collaborators of the Vichy government; the city's emergence as the intellectual and cultural mecca of the world; and the development of a love-hate relationship between France and the country that did the most to liberate it-the United States. Beevor and Cooper benefited from access to private manuscripts, including the papers of Duff Cooper, the British ambassador to France immediately after the war and grandfather of Artemis. The book is filled with sound, balanced insights and witty observations. It should prove enjoyable and valuable both for specialists and general readers. Readers will also value it because it was one of the last projects on which Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis worked as an editor at Doubleday.
T.J. Schaeper, St. Bonaventure Univ., N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

A regular in the 11th Hussars, Antony Beevor served in Germany and England. He has had a number of books published and his book Stalingrad was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson History Prize and the Hawthornden Prize. Among the many prestigious posts he holds, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Customer Reviews

This book is a must for anyone interested in the history of Paris post WW2.
geraldine Boothroyd
This book is an excellent survey of the forces and individuals at work immediately following World War II that led to the development of Europe in the 21st century.
John michael
That said, it would have been nice if someone from the publishers had bothered to proof-read the Kindle version.
Mark Hanrahan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on September 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Anthony Beevor's writing. I looked forward to this book and rushed through things to get to it. I then read it and read it, when I should have done other things. I finished it in a day where I did very little else. This testifies how Paris After the Liberation is a great and interesting read.

Yet, I think this book is unfocused. Beevor and Cooper really needed to decide whether they were writing a book about the City of Paris in the Liberation and life and events in it, or a history of France from 1944 until 1968. The focus shifts in too many places from goings on and life in the city to the national political alignment in France, international events affecting France, and relations between other countries dealing with France, political events in France outside the city, etc.

Likewise Beevor and Cooper's view of the city of Paris tends to be unbalanced. They focus on the city of tourism and myth rather than the city most Pariseans live in. They give us only a few pages of description of the misery, poverty, disease, starvation, and neglect in the outer working class suburbs. They provie a paragraph about the prison-like experience of workers at Billancourt where Renault is. They have not one word about the working class and poverty-stricken faubourgs inside the city. Instead, Beevor and Cooper concentrate on the life of major intellectuals, upper class socialities, and above all the English-speaking diplomatic circles and returning exiles

If you want to know the details of the life of British Ambassador Duff Cooper, his various extra-maritial affairs, taste in decoration, friendship, advice to French politicians, advice to the British government, this is the book for you.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Antonio on April 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Paris after the Liberation has captured the imagination like no other Nazi-liberated city (sure, there's "Roma, Citta Aperta", but can any non-Italian mention any intellectual or politician living in Rome in 1944?). Maybe it's because the French are better at self-promotion. Maybe it's because their history is more dramatic than others (4 major revolutions- 1789, 1830, 1848 and 1871-in less than a century), or because Paris is a better setting for a good story (remember Les Miserables, or a Tale of Two Cities), but the happenings in Paris in 1944-1949 are compulsively readable.
The scene is dramatic: it moves from avant-guard theatres to banquet halls, from smelly bistros to worker tenements, from Les Champs Elysees to Saint-Germain-Des-Pres. The cast is outstanding: doddering Petain, haughty De Gaulle, decent Mauriac, ambitious Malraux, brilliang Sartre, Camus, Hemingway, Picasso, Celine, Brassillach, Drieu, plus a large cast of fanatical communists and anti-semites, ignorant American senators, well-connected British spies and hairy proto-Kerouacs. Everything comes together: military and political matters, social and artistic trends, intellectual developments. Paris, in 1944-1949, was shabby and run-down, its people hungry and ill-scrubbed (although that's perhaps a recurring theme), but it was the mecca of the world. Anyone who was anyone was there.
Beevor and Cooper tell the story well. They are able to add much flavour to the well-known facts by judicious use of diaries and private papers. One feels like one was there. I wouldn't have minded it myself.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jason on April 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
I like all of Beevor's books I've read so far, and this one is no exception. My only real criticism is that he has a nasty habit of quoting people in their native tongue (French in this case) without translation, which I found very annoying. Besides that, I thought the subject was brilliant and presented well. What I took away from this book is that the French, perhaps more so that other European nations, were a series of paradoxes both during and after the German occupation; simultaneously collaborators and resistants, arch-conservatives and communists, openly hostile to and embracing the influx of American culture. No one term can be used to pigeonhole them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Baker on March 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a interesting joint project from husband-and-wife team Antony Beevor and Artemis Cooper. As one reviewer has noted, this book has somewhat of a split personality -- there is a lot of history on the strength of the Communists in postwar France and their subsequent repudiation by most mainstream French as a result of the show trials, but there is also a great deal of kind of celebrity history. The two make for an odd mix and prevent the book from feeling very cohesive, but nonetheless one does learn a lot about Paris (and France) in this era.

The authors do want to make the most they can from their access to the papers of Duff Cooper (he was the British Ambassador at the time; Ms. Cooper is his granddaughter), so that also makes for an uneven focus, but shines a light on yet another aspect of the postwar years.

Overall -- unbalanced focus, but you will learn about the period, and the writing itself is good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TB on July 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once again I find myself entranced by beevor's grasp of the complexity of the people involved. I never imagined that a book with an entire chapter on fashion would hold my attention. Interesting portrait of French life after the liberation
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