Paris: After the Liberation 1944-1949

Paris: After the Liberation 1944-1949

Paperback

By (author) Antony Beevor, By (author) Artemis Cooper

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Format: Paperback | 436 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 208mm x 28mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 31 August 2004
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0142437921
  • ISBN 13: 9780142437926
  • Edition: Revised
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Sales rank: 129,780

Product description

In this brilliant synthesis of social, political, and cultural history, Antony Beevor and Artemis Cooper present a vivid and compelling portrayal of the City of Lights after its liberation. Paris became the diplomatic battleground in the opening stages of the Cold War. Against this volatile political backdrop, every aspect of life is portrayed: scores were settled in a rough and uneven justice, black marketers grew rich on the misery of the population, and a growing number of intellectual luminaries and artists? including Hemingway, Beckett, Camus, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Cocteau, and Picasso?contributed new ideas and a renewed vitality to this extraordinary moment in time.

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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.