Paris From the Ground up

Paris From the Ground up

Book - 2009
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Harvard University Press

Paris is the most personal of cities. There is a Paris for the medievalist, and another for the modernist—a Paris for expatriates, philosophers, artists, romantics, and revolutionaries of every stripe. James H. S. McGregor brings these multiple perspectives into focus throughout this concise, unique history of the City of Light.

His panorama begins with an ancient Gallic fortress on the Seine, burned to the ground by its own defenders in a vain effort to starve out Caesar’s legions. After ninth-century raids by the Vikings ended, Parisians expanded the walls of their tiny sanctuary on the Ile de la Cité, turning the river’s right bank into a thriving commercial district and the Rive Gauche into a college town. Gothic spires expressed a taste for architectural novelty, matched only by the palaces and pleasure gardens of successive monarchs whose ingenuity made Paris the epitome of everything French. The fires of Revolution threatened all that had come before, but Baron Haussmann saw opportunity in the wreckage. No planned city in the world is more famous than his.

Paris from the Ground Up allows readers to trace the city’s evolution in its architecture and art—from the Roman arena to the Musée d’Orsay, from the Louvre’s defensive foundations to I. M. Pei’s transparent pyramids. Color maps, along with identifying illustrations, make the city accessible to visitors by foot, Metro, or riverboat.



Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009
ISBN: 9780674033160
0674033167
Branch Call Number: 914.436 MCGRE
Characteristics: 327 pages, 10 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color), maps (chiefly color) ; 24 cm

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marydave
Jun 15, 2013

Love Paris, but found this book unreadable. Never could figure out how it was organized. Couldn't even enjoy the pictures - descriptions are buried in the prose, no captions at all. Disappointment.

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Vivica
Mar 07, 2012

A good read.

ser_library Feb 18, 2012

a serious book for the general reader with excellent illustrations and much information

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