Transforming Paris: Life and Labours of Baron Haussmann

3.73 avg rating
( 33 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780029165317: Transforming Paris: Life and Labours of Baron Haussmann

The Paris we know today, with its grand boulevards, its bridges and parks, its monumental beauty, was essentially built in only seventeen years, in the middle of the nineteenth century. In this brief period, whole neighborhoods of medieval and revolutionary Paris -- over-crowded, dangerous, and filthy -- were razed, and from the rubble a modern city of light and air emerged. This triumphant rebuilding was chiefly the work of one man, Baron Georges Haussmann, Napoleon III's Prefect of the Seine.
It was Haussmann's task to assert, in stone, the power and permanence of Paris, to show the world that it was the seat of an empire of mythic proportions. To this end, he imposed grand visual perspectives, as when he transformed Napoleon I's Arc de Triomphe into a magnificent twelve-armed star from which radiated the broadest boulevards of Europe. Below ground, his modern sewer system became one of the wonders of the civilized world, eagerly toured by royalty and commoners alike.
Haussmann's mandate was not only to create an impression of grandeur but to secure the city for better control by government. By creating formal spaces where there had previously been a maze of chaotic streets, Haussmann opened Paris to effective police control and thwarted the recurrent demonstration of its well-known revolutionary fervor. The determined and autocratic Haussmann imprinted rational order and bourgeois civility on the unruly city which had for so long simmered with riot and insurrection.
Though he planted chestnut trees, installed gas lights, rebuilt the water supply, and improved transportation and housing, Haussmann's labors were (and remain) controversial. He forced tens of thousands ofthe poor from the center of the city, and destroyed significant parts of old Paris. But in this important new biography David Jordan reminds us that Haussmann was not immune to the charms of the old city. By leaving some areas intact, the Baron achieved the grand effect of implanting a modern city boldly within an ancient one. Here, at last, Haussmann's labors are given the aesthetic as well as the historical appreciation they deserve.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Francois Furet

The author writes about Paris as one who knows the city well, has spent years exploring it, and loves all the ages it represents and all of its streets. This is all wonderfully treated, in both a learned and readable fashion. This is a biography with many excellent qualities. It is, furthermore, a joy to read, cloaking its erudition with narrative elegance and simplicity.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Jordan, David P.
Published by Free Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 0029165318 ISBN 13: 9780029165317
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Free Press, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110029165318

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
57.38
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.40
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

David P. Jordan
ISBN 10: 0029165318 ISBN 13: 9780029165317
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800291653171.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
87.73
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.20
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

David P. Jordan
Published by Free Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 0029165318 ISBN 13: 9780029165317
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Free Press, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0029165318

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
99.85
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.20
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Jordan, David P.
Published by Free Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 0029165318 ISBN 13: 9780029165317
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Free Press, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0029165318

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
274.17
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds