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Paris Reborn: Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Quest to Build a Modern City

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Paris Reborn: Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Quest to Build a Modern City Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the mid-nineteenth century, the Paris we know today was born, the vision of two extraordinary men: the endlessly ambitious Emperor Napoléon III and his unstoppable accomplice, Baron Haussmann. This is the vivid and engrossing account of the greatest transformation of a major city in modern history.

Traditionally known as a dirty, congested, and dangerous city, Paris was transformed in an extraordinary period from 1848 to 1870, when the government launched a huge campaign to build streets, squares, parks, churches, and public buildings. The Louvre Palace was expanded, Notre-Dame Cathedral was restored, and the masterpiece of the Second Empire, the Opéra Garnier, was built. A very large part of what we see when we visit Paris today originates from this short span of twenty-two years.

The vision for the new Paris belonged to Napoléon III, who had led a long and difficult climb to absolute power. But his plans faltered until he brought in a civil servant, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, to take charge of the implementation. Heedless of controversy, at tremendous cost, Haussmann pressed ahead with the giant undertaking until, in 1870, his political enemies brought him down, just months before the collapse of the whole regime brought about the end of an era.

Stephane Kirkland's Paris Reborn is a must-read for anyone who ever wondered how Paris, the city universally admired as a standard of urban beauty, became what it is.

Review:

"The filthy, haphazardly arrayed Paris immortalized in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables gives way to the idealized tree-lined boulevards and planned building projects of the opulent Second French Empire, in urban architecture blogger Kirkland's debut. Long before Robert Moses set about sculpting New York City, Baron Haussmann — with the blessings of Napoleon III (the Napoleon's nephew) — transformed Paris from a medieval maze into a modern metropolis. While many of Haussmann's changes — especially the long, straight, wide boulevards — have come to signify Paris in the popular mind, the metamorphosis was not without its attendant obstacles, including backroom deals, public outcry, and what many deemed prohibitively high costs. The greatest failures, however, were the new public housing developments — Napoleon III's pet projects were ineffective, and builders rebelled against his vision. Their treatment is also the book's greatest shortcoming: Kirkland glosses over root causes of lower class unrest and leaves unanswered questions regarding why the public housing didn't satisfy its residents. Nevertheless, Kirkland is an able navigator of architectural history — vivid descriptions abound, and the evolution of the city's infrastructure, public spaces, and other amenities is a testament to the oft overlooked reign of Napoleon III. Lovers of the City of Light and urban planners alike will find Kirkland's survey illuminating. 8-page photo insert. Agent: William Clark, William Clark Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Stephane Kirkland gives an engrossing account of Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann, and one of the greatest transformations of a major city in modern history

 

Traditionally known as a dirty, congested, and dangerous city, 19th Century Paris, France was transformed in an extraordinary period from 1848 to 1870, when the government launched a huge campaign to build streets, squares, parks, churches, and public buildings. The Louvre Palace was expanded, Notre-Dame Cathedral was restored and the French masterpiece of the Second Empire, the Opéra Garnier, was built. A very large part of what we see when we visit Paris today originates from this short span of twenty-two years.

The vision for the new Nineteenth Century Paris belonged to Napoleon III, who had led a long and difficult climb to absolute power. But his plans faltered until he brought in a civil servant, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, to take charge of the implementation. Heedless of controversy, at tremendous cost, Haussmann pressed ahead with the giant undertaking until, in 1870, his political enemies brought him down, just months before the collapse of the whole regime brought about the end of an era.

Paris Reborn is a must-read for anyone who ever wondered how Paris, the city universally admired as a standard of urban beauty, became what it is.

About the Author

Stephane Kirkland holds advanced degrees in architecture and art history and has worked as an architect and as a consultant. He now shares his time between Brooklyn and Paris, writing about architecture, urban planning, and history.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312626891
Author:
Kirkland, Stephane
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Subject:
World History-France
Subject:
France
Subject:
Modern - 19th Century
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes one 8-page color photograph ins
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » France » Paris
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » City Specific
History and Social Science » World History » France » General

Paris Reborn: Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Quest to Build a Modern City New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$29.99 In Stock
Product details 336 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312626891 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The filthy, haphazardly arrayed Paris immortalized in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables gives way to the idealized tree-lined boulevards and planned building projects of the opulent Second French Empire, in urban architecture blogger Kirkland's debut. Long before Robert Moses set about sculpting New York City, Baron Haussmann — with the blessings of Napoleon III (the Napoleon's nephew) — transformed Paris from a medieval maze into a modern metropolis. While many of Haussmann's changes — especially the long, straight, wide boulevards — have come to signify Paris in the popular mind, the metamorphosis was not without its attendant obstacles, including backroom deals, public outcry, and what many deemed prohibitively high costs. The greatest failures, however, were the new public housing developments — Napoleon III's pet projects were ineffective, and builders rebelled against his vision. Their treatment is also the book's greatest shortcoming: Kirkland glosses over root causes of lower class unrest and leaves unanswered questions regarding why the public housing didn't satisfy its residents. Nevertheless, Kirkland is an able navigator of architectural history — vivid descriptions abound, and the evolution of the city's infrastructure, public spaces, and other amenities is a testament to the oft overlooked reign of Napoleon III. Lovers of the City of Light and urban planners alike will find Kirkland's survey illuminating. 8-page photo insert. Agent: William Clark, William Clark Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

Stephane Kirkland gives an engrossing account of Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann, and one of the greatest transformations of a major city in modern history

 

Traditionally known as a dirty, congested, and dangerous city, 19th Century Paris, France was transformed in an extraordinary period from 1848 to 1870, when the government launched a huge campaign to build streets, squares, parks, churches, and public buildings. The Louvre Palace was expanded, Notre-Dame Cathedral was restored and the French masterpiece of the Second Empire, the Opéra Garnier, was built. A very large part of what we see when we visit Paris today originates from this short span of twenty-two years.

The vision for the new Nineteenth Century Paris belonged to Napoleon III, who had led a long and difficult climb to absolute power. But his plans faltered until he brought in a civil servant, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, to take charge of the implementation. Heedless of controversy, at tremendous cost, Haussmann pressed ahead with the giant undertaking until, in 1870, his political enemies brought him down, just months before the collapse of the whole regime brought about the end of an era.

Paris Reborn is a must-read for anyone who ever wondered how Paris, the city universally admired as a standard of urban beauty, became what it is.

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