Paris After the Liberation : 1944 - 1949
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'A beautifully written book about a vast tapestry of military, political and social upheaval. Remarkably well-researched, wise, balanced, very funny at times . . . I was a witness to events in Paris in the first desperate, glorious, mad weeks, and this is just how it was' Dirk Bogarde 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 thrilling, unsurpassed account of the drama and upheaval of one of history's most fascinating eras.'A dashing, multi-dimensional story. This book covers all aspects of life - diplomacy, strategy, rationing, politics and politicking (from Churchill, Petain's and de Gaulle's point of view), the international theatricals and the tourist invasion, blitzkrieg and Ritzkrieg - to create a lovely tapestry, threaded with facts and figures' Olivier Todd, Sunday Times'Absorbing . . . a rich, many-layered account, selecting from official documents, private archives, memoirs and histories with a wonderful lightness of touch, so that the most complex events become clear' Jenny Uglow, Independent on SundayAntony 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.
- Paperback | 448 pages
- 126 x 196 x 34mm | 299.37g
- 04 Oct 2007
- Penguin Books Ltd
- London, United Kingdom
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.
A rich and intriguing story which the authors disentangle with great skill -- Piers Paul Read * Sunday Telegraph * Skilfully balances historical narrative with social analysis, and tempering the appalling with the absurd -- Jan Morris * Independent * Outstanding. Enormously enjoyable to read - exciting, lively, funny, and admirably tolerant and objective in its opinions. It is hard to see how it could have been better done -- Philip Ziegler * Daily Telegraph * Held me gripped by every page and I was impatient at any interruption. The details of this book are spellbinding, often frightening and sometimes funny -- Alec Guinness * Daily Mail * This book, like the city it discusses, oscillates satisfyingly between blunt history and roistering gossip -- Frank Delaney * Sunday Express * To understand France today you should read this book about France yesterday . . . a wonderfully enjoyable picture. It is compulsive reading -- Mark Bonham-Carter * Evening Standard * There is hardly any aspect of French life during that period which the authors do not explore, always with compelling liveliness and omniverous zeal. . . I shall return gratefully to it again and again -- Alistair Horne * The European * A perceptive portrait of Paris in its heyday -- J. G. Ballard * The Times * A beautifully written book about a vast tapestry of military, political and social upheaval. Remarkably well-researched, wise, balanced, very funny at times . . . I was a witness to events in Paris in the first desperate, glorious, mad weeks, and this is just how it was -- Dirk Bogarde A dashing, multi-dimensional story. This book covers all aspects of life - diplomacy, strategy, rationing, politics and politicking (from Churchill, Petain's and de Gaulle's point of view), the international theatricals and the tourist invasion, blitzkrieg and Ritzkrieg - to create a lovely tapestry, threaded with facts and figures -- Olivier Todd * Sunday Times * Absorbing . . . a rich, many-layered account, selecting from official documents, private archives, memoirs and histories with a wonderful lightness of touch, so that the most complex events become clear -- Jenny Uglow * Independent on Sunday *
About Antony Beevor
Antony Beevor (Author) 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), Berlin - The Downfall, The Battle for Spain (Premio La Vanguardia), D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, (Prix Henry Malherbe and the RUSI Westminster Medal), The Second World War, and Ardennes 1944 (shortlist Prix Medicis). Acknowledged as the no. 1 best-selling historian in this country, Beevor's books have appeared in thirty-two languages and have sold just over seven million copies. A former chairman of the Society of Authors, he has received a number of honorary doctorates. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Kent and an Honorary Fellow of King's College London. He was knighted in 2017.