In this luminous portrait of Paris, the celebrated historian gives us the history, culture, disasters, and triumphs of one of the world’s truly great cities. While Paris may be many things, it is never boring. From the rise of Philippe Auguste through the reigns of Henry IV and Louis XIV (who abandoned Paris for Versailles); Napoleon’s rise and fall; Baron Haussmann’s rebuilding of Paris (at the cost of much of the medieval city); the Belle Epoque and the Great War that brought it to an end; the Nazi Occupation, the Liberation, and the postwar period dominated by de Gaulle--Horne brings the city’s highs and lows, savagery and sophistication, and heroes and villains splendidly to life. With a keen eye for the telling anecdote and pivotal moment, he portrays an array of vivid incidents to show us how Paris endures through each age, is altered but always emerges more brilliant and beautiful than ever. The Seven Ages of Paris is a great historian’s tribute to a city he loves and has spent a lifetime learning to know. "Knowledgeable and colorful, written with gusto and love.... [An] ambitious and skillful narrative that covers the history of Paris with considerable brio and fervor." —LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW
With a practical approach to theory, Designing the City of Reason offers new perspectives on how differing belief systems and philosophical approaches impact on city design and development, exploring how this has changed before, during and after the impact of modernism in all its rationalism. Looking at the connections between abstract ideas and material realities, this book provides a social and historical account of ideas which have emerged out of the particular concerns and cultural contexts and which inform the ways we live. By considering the changing foundations for belief and action, and their impact on urban form, it follows the history and development of city design in close conjunction with the growth of rationalist philosophy. Building on these foundations, it goes on to focus on the implications of this for urban development, exploring how public infrastructures of meaning are constructed and articulated through the dimensions of time, space, meaning, value and action. With its wide-ranging subject matter and distinctive blend of theory and practice, this book furthers the scope and range of urban design by asking new questions about the cities we live in and the values and symbols which we assign to them.
Alistair Horne begins his absorbing account by examining Napoleon's rise to prominence against the background of the French Revolution. He describes Napoleon's brilliance as a general and strategist, culminating in the Battle of Austerlitz, one of the greatest military campaigns of all times. He goes on to discuss the cultural achievements of the Napoleonic era both in France and abroad before charting Napoleon's downfall and his bitter defeat at Waterloo in 1815. The book ends with a discussion of Napoleon's legacy and the myths that have sprung up around this most controversial of French leaders. Horne's book is popular history at its very best - a gripping narrative, enriched by fascinating anecdotes, told by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject.
Napoleon I employed a myriad of media through which to promote his propaganda and his universal hegemony. Classical Rome - home to the great Caesars - was central to his ambitious visions for the transformation of Paris into an imperial metropolis of unprecedented magnitude. Exploring the interrelationship between antiquity, the display of power and the reinvention of Paris, this volume evaluates how the Roman world and post-antique exploitations of Rome influenced Napoleonic Paris, and how Napoleon promoted his authority by appropriating Rome's triumphal architecture and its associated symbolism to relocate 'Rome' in his own times. The volume shows how consideration of Louis XIV's legacy is crucial to understanding the evolution of Napoleon's fascination with imperial Rome. It also charts Napoleon's manipulation of the populist rhetoric of Republican France (and Rome) as he moved from being a general fighting for the Revolutionary cause to become the 'absolute' ruler of a new empire.
Opening with the military preparations before Paris was besieged by the invading German army in September 1870, Alistair Horne's compelling account of this dramatic episode takes the reader through the fall of Paris and German victory to the last days of the Paris Commune in May Week 1871.
"A useful and charming introduction to a nation that has oh-so-definitely helped make the modern world what it is... Horne does a service in helping the reading navigate the complexities of French history." —Los Angeles Times From the aclaimed British historian and author of Seven Ages of Paris comes a sweeping, grand narrative written with all the verve, erudition, and vividness that are his hallmarks. It recounts the hugely absorbing story of the country that has contributed to the world so much talent, style, and political innovation. Beginning with Julius Caesar’s division of Gaul into three parts, Horne leads us through the ages from Charlemagne to Chirac, touring battlefields from the Hundred Years’ War to Indochina and Algeria, and giving us luminous portraits of the nation’s leaders, philosophers, writers, artists, and composers. This is a captivating, beautifully illustrated, and comprehensive yet concise history of France.
As society becomes more global, many see the world’s great cities as becoming increasingly similar. But while contemporary cultures do depend on and resemble each other in previously unimagined ways, homogenization is sometimes overestimated. In his compelling new book, James W. White considers how two of the world’s great cities, Paris and Tokyo, may appear to be growing more alike--both are vast, modern, dominating, capitalist cities--but in fact remain profoundly different places. Tokyo’s growth appears particularly organic, with a pronounced austerity and boundaries far less clear than those of Paris, which has been planned and manipulated constantly. Paris has a thriving center and a noticeably more contentious relationship with its nation, and its own suburbs, than Tokyo does. White explores how the roles of cities and urbanism in each society, and the balance between nature and artifice, account for some of these differences. He also examines the role of authority in each location and considers the way catastrophes, such as war, alter a city--as well as the role fear plays in a city’s construction. While the author acknowledges that Tokyo is more physically fluid and superficially chaotic than Paris, he also demonstrates that it has an invisible order of its own (including a center that, contrary to most assumptions, is not empty at all). White depicts a Tokyo that relies less on the monumental, and is less influenced by government, than most cities in the West. Where the culture of Paris emphasizes clarity, exclusion, and marginality, the public spaces of Tokyo express ambiguity, inclusiveness, and impermanence. In the end, White makes us reconsider which city better deserves the name "City of Light." Nonetheless, he warns, several factors may combine to discourage Tokyo’s international ascendance and even to threaten the future of provincial Japan. Thus it may be Paris, paradoxically, that is better poised to improve both its own position and its country’s in the years ahead.