Paris After the Liberation: 1944 - 1949
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Paris After the Liberation: 1944 - 1949

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Antony Beevor's "Paris After Liberation: 1944-1949" is a remarkable historical account of the chaos and uncertainty that followed the liberation of Paris in August, 1944 . Post liberation Paris - an epoch charged with political and conflicting emotions. Liberation was greeted with joy but marked by recriminations and the trauma of purges. The feverish intellectual arguments of the young took place amidst the mundane reality of hunger and fuel shortages. This is a stunning historical account of one of the most stimulating periods in twentieth century French history. "Outstanding, enormously enjoyable, exciting". (Philip Ziegler, "Daily Telegraph"). "Held me gripped by every page and I was impatient at any interruption. Spellbinding, often frightening and sometimes funny". (Alec Guinness, "Daily Mail"). Antony Beevor is the renowned author of "Stalingrad", which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, and Berlin, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award. His books have sold nearly four million copies.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 34mm | 299.37g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141032413
  • 9780141032412
  • 42,598

Back cover copy

When Allied troops fought their way into Paris on August 25, 1944, they were greeted by the wildest scenes of joy Europe had ever witnessed. The following day, over a million people thronged the streets in a delirious atmosphere of freedom to watch General de Gaulle's triumphant march from the Arc de Triomphe to Notre Dame. There was a black edge to the exuberance, though. Hatreds from the Vichy era led to the settling of scores in a chaos of often wild justice. The period that followed was full of contrast and contradiction: Picasso, a multimillionaire, became the Communist Party's star recruit; an infatuation with American popular culture thrived amid virulent anti-Americanism; black marketeers grew rich on the misery of the population; literary and social life revived miraculously amid the poverty and dilapidation; Christian Dior revolutionized fashion with the extravagant use of material, and working-class women tore the clothes in outrage from one of his models. Arthur Miller observed of Paris, emotionally scarred by the Occupation, that "the moral, the literary, and the political were the same". Paris was the focal point in the opening stages of the Cold War, and in the new era of the atom bomb. Existentialists and Communists arguing in cafes sensed that history had entered a decisive phase. At a time when rumor was as powerful as fact, word of plots and counterplots proliferated, and France came to the brink of civil war. Paris After the Liberation is the first work to do justice to this extraordinary period. It is a landmark achievement, a brilliant fusion of politics, literary life, society, theater, fashion, and art woven into a rich and intimate account brimming withrevelation. Acclaimed historians Antony Beevor and Artemis Cooper (the granddaughter of England's first postwar ambassador to France) have drawn on an astonishing array of sources: unpublished diaries, letters, and photographs; interviews with many of the period's leading figures; and important material from archives in Paris, the United States, London, and Moscow, whose newly opened state papers have provided a wealth of completely fresh information, much of it startling. Paris After the Liberation brings to life a pivotal moment of world history, suffusing it with wit, anecdote, and brio. It is a brilliant and thoroughly enjoyable work of synthesis, a fitting celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of Paris.

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Review quote

Outstanding, enormously enjoyable, exciting -- Philip Ziegler Daily Telegraph Held me gripped by every page and I was impatient at any interruption. Spellbinding, often frightening and sometimes funny -- Alec Guinness Daily Mail

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About Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor is the author of Crete - The Battle and the Resistance (Runciman Prize), Stalingrad (Samuel Johnson Prize, Wolfson Prize for History and Hawthornden Prize for Literature), Berlin - The Downfall, The Battle for Spain (Premio La Vanguardia) and D-Day: The Battle for Normandy (RUSI Westminster Medal). His books have appeared in thirty languages and have sold more than seven million copies. A former chairman of the Society of Authors, he has received four honorary doctorates and a fellowship from King's College London. He is a visiting professor at the University of Kent. He has received the Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing, and the Medlicott Medal for services to history. Ardennes was shortlisted for the Priz Medicis in France and he was made Commander of the Order of the Crown by the Belgian Government.

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