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23 Reviews
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best I've ever read on this subject
Readers of history books have come to expect nothing but the best from Anthony Beevor and this is no exception. The superb pairing of Beevor with Artemis Cooper has produced an excellent account (certainly the best I've read) on France during and after the Liberation.
Cooper (a descendent of Duff Cooper, the first post-war ambassador to France) provides a massive...
Published on 26 Sept. 2004

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy e-book conversion of a good book
This isn't a one-star book - it's a very interesting look at fascinating times (although another reviewer here quite rightly notes that it lingers on the upper crust of society and does not feature the voices of ordinary Parisians as much as you'd expect). I'd give it four for the text.

Why a one-star review, then?

Because the e-book conversion is...
Published on 8 Jun. 2011 by Moi, j'aime lire...


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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best I've ever read on this subject, 26 Sept. 2004
By A Customer
Readers of history books have come to expect nothing but the best from Anthony Beevor and this is no exception. The superb pairing of Beevor with Artemis Cooper has produced an excellent account (certainly the best I've read) on France during and after the Liberation.
Cooper (a descendent of Duff Cooper, the first post-war ambassador to France) provides a massive contribution to the text with the diaries and letters of Duff and Diana Cooper which inspires a wholly original and unique insight to the politics at the time.
This, added to the exceptionally accessible style of Beevor, makes a thoroughly enjoyable, as well as informative read.
The only criticism I can think of is the occasional niggling feeling at the end of the odd paragraph that the story that has just been recounted was not quite finished. This is certainly not a common occurrence and does not at all detract from the main body of the narrative.
The book covers many aspects of life after the Libreation in Paris - not just political, it also focuses a great deal on the lives of intellectuals and artists - and also gives an idea as to the suffering of France generally in those hard years.
In conclusion I must recommend this book to anyone with even the vaguest interest in French social history.
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post-war Paris in a nutshell, 12 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This well written book provides a highly amusing portrait of Paris after the war. It covers politics, literature and the night life. Sartre and all the rest of the crew. It explains why the communists are still a force in politics now and reveals a shrewd understanding of the French psyche.
It is certainly worth buying. Up in the same league as Beevor's book on Stalingrad.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reinventing A Country, 20 Jan. 2012
This is a fascinating account of France on a knife edge as it tries to come to terms with the aftermath of the occupation and re-establish its shattered economy and democracy. With the war ended the glue which held together the politically disparate elements of the Resistance is dissolved, freedom fighters have to find common ground with collaborators and everyone has to try to rebuild the country against the background of British, American and Russian interference with the ever-present threats of communist revolution or fascist dictatorship lurking in the background. Modern France could have turned out to be very different to the country we now know.

The story is told largely through the eyes of socialites, diplomats and the emerging group of left-bank, left-wing intellectuals who both shape and are shaped by events. Although this range of sources seems limited, the authors successfully use it to produce a framework which clearly sets out the events of the period and goes a long way to explaining the attitudes of the society which emerges. Even if one sometimes wishes that the voices and experiences of ordinary Parisians were more to the fore, this book is a very readable introduction to how France reinvented itself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff covering the whole range of Parisian life, 15 Aug. 2010
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
A marvellously absorbing history of Paris in the final year of the war after Liberation and the immediate post-war years, covering the whole range of issues - the desperate economic situation, political chaos, military tensions within the wartime alliance and the start of the Cold War, but also the intellectual life, and the worlds of fashion, art and literature, in many cases closely tied to political developments. Great stuff.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy e-book conversion of a good book, 8 Jun. 2011
This isn't a one-star book - it's a very interesting look at fascinating times (although another reviewer here quite rightly notes that it lingers on the upper crust of society and does not feature the voices of ordinary Parisians as much as you'd expect). I'd give it four for the text.

Why a one-star review, then?

Because the e-book conversion is incredibly shoddy, and this is the only way to get Penguin to notice the fact. The whole text is packed with poorly converted typesetting joining words together, so you get nonsense like "itemon", "anti-clericalismon" and "telegramto" (all these in the space of a few pages: the book is full of them).

Does this stop me from reading and enjoying the text? No.

Does it make me wonder why I paid for it? Yes. Penguin are taking the cash and not bothering to send the book out for a proof read.

Come on, pull your socks up. There are good reasons why editorial standards as we understand them exist and this book doesn't meet them at all.

Mr Beevor / Ms Cooper / Penguin-Person, if you do happen to read this - please leave a comment. I'd be very interested to hear what you have to say.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Le "Tout Paris" but very few ordinary Parisians, 11 April 2010
By 
Dobester (Istanbul, Turkey) - See all my reviews
This book is really about the experiences of Paris's upper-class "gratin" and the friends and associates of Mr Beevor's wife's father, the British diplomat Duff Cooper. It becomes almost parodic in its descriptions of dinners and distressed gentlefolk, and as such is very different from Mr Beevor's previous books on Stalingrad and Berlin, which were made from the memories of people from all levels of society. It's like reading a history of London during the war written by Harold Nicholson. Elegantly written and interesting, but most definitely not a history of Paris.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad times., 27 Sept. 2013
By 
Mr. S. Reay "moabman" (Stranraer Scotland) - See all my reviews
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So much was happening in Europe after France's liberation. Amazing to see how history was re-written by many of the French to hide the level of collaboration that actually happened. My thing is the SOE and to read De Gaulles reasons for telling agents they were no longer wanted in France was shocking. An in depth explanation of a bleak period in France's history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Revealed! The truth behind the mask,, 18 Jun. 2014
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A fascinating book,telling the reader a lot that our European neighbours would prefer,even now, to keep shrouded from public gaze, the German Wartime occupation of Paris,and France,during the period 1940-1944...The pages are filled with the behaviour of former well known personalities,Political Shortcomings,the struggle to survive,the greed and the black market,the collaboration,the activities of the Resistance Movement,before and after the liberation,and the increasingly lamentable relations that marked the deterioration of the Franco-Allied cooperation,in the final year of the War. bought this book to be a companion volume to the recently published "The Hotel on Place Vendome",the story of The Ritz Hotel in Paris,also available from Amazon,and I was not disappointed. I thoroughly recommend that if purchasers get this one,they should buy the other,because they are truly complementary,and provide a much better understanding of the events of the times,when read together.
I'm also drawn even closer to the conclusion that the Allies,particularly the Brits and Americans-and this is not to denigrate the massive contributions to Victory made by the Commonwealth Forces-did the one thing that the French can never forgive in the last century,we bailed them out not once, but twice, in thirty years,and stopped them having to speak German as their first language! Perfidious Albion!,we are damned forever!
Ah well!--I guess I'll go straight to Hell for that one!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informative overview of the post-Liberation period with a Parisian and upper-class focus, 24 Aug. 2014
By 
Paul Bowes (Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This book manages a difficult task: to make a serious historical account readable for the non-specialist. The authors have achieved this by narrowing their focus - making Paris central to the narrative and depending heavily on diplomatic, intellectual and artistic sources - and by relying fairly heavily on a limited range of personal accounts.

Nonetheless, 'Paris After the Liberation' is real history, and a useful pendant to general histories of France or Paris during the Occupation. Beevor and Cooper do a fine job of explaining the politics of the period, while humanising a potentially dry subject by weaving personal stories in and out of the detailed explication. For the most part, the narrative is even-handed, blaming neither the French nor the Anglo-American allies exclusively for the problems both experienced in the task of re-establishing a legitimate French political authority. The French and Russian communists do come in for consistently rough handling, however: a fact that may be justified by the conduct of those concerned, but can obscure the authors' apparent relative lack of interest in matters below the purview of the governing classes.

Recommended for the general reader interested in the history of the period, but expect to supplement this. Readers with more specialist knowledge, or seeking a broader social and geographic canvas, are advised to look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile read I bought it after really enjoying Normandy by same author, 27 July 2013
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Mr. B. A. Hauxwell "jambo" (scotland) - See all my reviews
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I bought it having read the book on the Normandy landings by same author which was excellent.i found this one a bit of who was doing what re the liberation of Paris and a bit focused upon celebrity
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Paris: After the Liberation 1944-1949
Paris: After the Liberation 1944-1949 by Artemis Cooper (Paperback - Aug. 2004)
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