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Walks Through Lost Paris: A Journey Into the Heart of Historic Paris Paperback – May 24, 2006
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To Leonard, most of the changes he shows were regrettable, particularly those made in the 20th century. As he says, the one saving grace of Haussmann's many alterations to Paris is that he beat later rebuilders to it(!).
This book should appeal to anyone who has an interest in the unique visual appeal of Paris. The walks are very well narrated and thus should be easy for even newcomers to Paris to follow.
However, I think "Walks Through Lost Paris" will have its greatest appeal to readers already familiar with the neighborhoods Pitt describes. To them (here I include myself), it will be possible to recall the context of the modern-day photos and better appreciate the historical photos of what used to be in the same place. For the repeat visitor, Pitt's book offers a wealth of detail to form the basis of ever-deeper explorations into this stunning, historic city.
As a final note, let me add that I spotted the Parigramme book, in French, "Promenades dans le Paris Disparu" a few years ago and ever since have been looking to see if it had been translated into English. Now it has, and for that I am very grateful.
I hope you'll enjoy this book as much as I have. I've already read it twice in the last two weeks!
Pitt peppers his narrative with bits of history, architectural explanations -- and even the occasional cultural observation. As a result, his walks provide a deep understanding of the people and events that shaped Paris into the city it is today.
And the photos: I can only imagine the countless hours of research that went into comparing the historical documents with the modern street views. The result is an extraordinary record of the city's transformation, unlike any other I've seen.
If you want to move beyond the monuments and experience the true heart of historic Paris, I highly recommend this book. To me, it's a masterpiece.
This is a wonderful book, except for one thing. It is so small that the maps are almost unreadable, and the print is not so easy to read either. I've been to Paris twice and walked through all four areas in the book before, but the book opened my eyes to a lot of history and details I'm looking forward to seeing first hand. I am taking it to Paris in a couple weeks, and I'm looking forward to the walks, but I'm going to have to blow up the maps so I can read them without a magnifying glass. This book would be far more enjoyable in a larger format.
There were some major surprises in this book, as a lot of familiar parts of Paris have changed drastically over the years. From the modern perspective, the more open vistas that more or less started with the Haussmann makeover, make the city the marvelous walking tour that it is, but clearly a lot of urban character has been lost as the evolution has taken place.
The book is organized as a menu of walking ours with 192 pages of excellent text and many illustrations.
While most directions are easy to follow, and overview maps are provided (although not all streets are shown or marked), we still found a few places where we got confused. Fortunately, we had a good Paris map with us, so it wasn't a problem. Therefore, the only thing I would suggest is that the reader be sure to have a good map of the city in addition to this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've been to Paris many times over the years and I know the city rather well - but this book really adds to my love of the history, architecture and overall special ambiance. Read morePublished 1 month ago by A voracious reader
Purchased as a Christmas gift for my father who visits the city every few years. He seems to like it, especially because he can visit the sites, and compare to photos in the book... Read morePublished 5 months ago by KATHRYN
After you have seen the main sights in Paris, this is the next step for history buffs. It is a very well-defined and documented walk through all the pre-Houssmann streets and... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Marilyn Armstrong
I love reading this book about how it was like before the renovation of Paris. If only the book would be larger... I wish I could see all the maps and pictures larger.Published 9 months ago by Lisa H.
A very detailed book about the redevelopment of Paris by Baron Haussmann. The many photos made it an extremely interesting book for the general reader as well as for the historian.Published 17 months ago by Judith Cameron-Smith
ts like remembering your past visits to this romantic city and new spots to be discovered, plus pics on how the city used to be and it is today. Very interesting- lpve it.Published on July 11, 2014 by lichi
What a splendid book to use while visiting Paris! It will entertain you, give you a Paris which is long gone and yet you can be there using your imagination and the reality left... Read morePublished on April 7, 2014 by Alexander Gray