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Is Paris Burning?

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,131 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
From the bestselling author of The City of Joy comes the dramatic story of the Allied liberation of Paris. Is Paris Burning? reconstructs the network of fateful events--the drama, the fervor, and the triumph--that heralded one of the most dramatic episodes of our time. This bestseller about 1944 Paris is timed to meet the demand for Dominique Lapierre books that will be ge ...more
Paperback, 389 pages
Published March 1st 1991 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1964)
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May 24, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is Paris Burning? should probably get only 2 Stars because this was not a serious fight in the big scheme of maneuver. The Jewish Uprising in Warsaw in 1943 and the Polish fight in Warsaw a year later were more serious fights with consequences and lasted far longer. The Paris uprising sputtered for a few days before the French 2nd Armored Division and the US 4th Infantry Division made their entry into the city. But Mr Collins and Mr Lapierre get 4.5 Baccarat crystal Stars for packing this accoun ...more
Alex Kershaw
Jan 07, 2016 Alex Kershaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apr 12, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Gene Bennion
Shelves: war, history
Summer of 1944. Every bridge, historical landmark, and civic building in Nazi-occupied Paris was wired with explosives. Hitler’s plan was to reduce the city to rubble if Allied troops got too close. He didn’t know that the Allies were planning to bypass Paris, and of course the resistance fighters didn’t know Paris was rigged to blow up. Their hope was to bring things to a head once the Allied forces were near enough to help, unaware of the consequences. Throw into the mix the unlikely hero of t ...more
Jan 23, 2015 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Collins & Lapierre were successful writers of popular history in the mid 20th century. Their method was mainly to interview ordinary participants in the events, and write vivid accounts bringing the memories to life. In IS PARIS BURNING? the memories of Paris's last year under the Nazis were less than 20 years old.

From the attempts of downtrodden Parisians to find food, to German officers who were later willing to reminisce with the authors, to the ruthless maneuvering between the forces of
Gopal Vijayaraghavan
Seventy years ago, in August 1944, Paris was nearer to be reduced to a pile of ruins. Ordered by a maddened Fuhrer, who " barely three years earlier had ruled Europe from the tundras of Lapland to the flanks of Pyramids, from the rocky coast of Brittany to the outskirts of Moscow", but whose armies were now retreating at the onslaught of the allied forces. Here is a true and well researched account of the last days of the occupation of Paris and its liberation told in a gripping and fast paced t ...more
Dec 10, 2009 Professor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-first, 4cs
Is Paris Burning? is a collection of anecdotes from various people involved in the liberation of Paris-Free French regulars, French resistance, GIs, reporters, German officers and soldiers, and civilians. I enjoyed the first hand accounts, but since this book was written in the 60s one has to wonder how much spin people were giving them. It's probably best read either by someone like me, with only a passing familiarity with what happened, or patient historically minded types who are willing to o ...more
Erik Graff
Aug 02, 2013 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Collins/Lapierre fans
Recommended to Erik by: Einar Graff
Shelves: history
I saw the movie version of this book years before getting around to reading it. Like all of the Collins-Lapierre collaborations, it's an engrossing, fast-going read. The movie wasn't so great, but the memory of seeing it, first-run, with Father at the Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge, Illinois is a pleasant one. Apparently Mom wasn't too interested in movies, but I, like the dog, was always willing to go out and, so, saw many dozens of films with him through the years.

The most memorable scene of t
Feb 18, 2010 Ricardo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¿Quieren saber qué pasó en París en agosto de 1944? La gran responsabilidad de detallar cada paso de la liberación de París recae en esta magnífica novela. Cada plaza, cada grupo de la resistencia, cada foto, anécdotas impresionantes, parióticas, desgarradoras, se encuentran en este libro. Al terminar de leerlo, descubrirás que ya conoces esta hermosa ciudad y agradeces que no haya sido destruida. ¡Vive la France!Oh La la París!! Después la hicieron película, en una muy buena pero lamentablement ...more
Amy Plum
Jul 21, 2010 Amy Plum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every few years I read this book again. It's not the writing that I give a 5: it's the comprehensive (non-fiction) telling of what life was like in occupied Paris that I can never get enough of. Makes my imagination go wild.
Feb 18, 2014 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is Paris Burning? is one of the better histories of the liberation of France. It reads well and not in the stilted way many historians follow.
Collins and Dominique LaPierre have put together a history that follows some of the participants on both sides and that makes it more personal and interesting. It gives the human side of the war and does not depend on troop movements and numbers to tell the story.

Adolph Hitler had ordered Paris leveled and its bridges bombed. He continually asked "Is Pa
-Interesante en los detalles que rodean al evento principal.-

Género. Novela Histórica (pero especial, porque se acerca más al ensayo y la historia que a la propia novela).

Lo que nos cuenta. Narración en tercera persona y en pasado de los acontecimientos que llevaron al responsable militar alemán de la zona del gran París, el general Dietrich von Choltitz, a tomar la actitud que tomó frente al avance aliado hacia la capital francesa en verano de 1944, además de muchos pequeños eventos en los que
Maryann Macdonald
If Hitler couldn't have Paris, he didn't want anyone else to have it either. So he instructed his commander, General Cholnitz, to destroy the city in the event of impending liberation by the Allies. The hero of this book is this German commander, who decided to wait it out, day-by-day, to see whether the Allies or the SS would get there first.

The race, as it is seen from all sides, is full of incident and drama. Collins and LaPierre researched this book intensively and crammed every bit of exci
Pramod Nair
"Paris must not fall into the hands of enemy, or, if it does, he must find there nothing but a field of ruins."
These were instructions from Hitler as he signed the death warrant of Paris on 23rd august 1944. In 'Is Paris burning' Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre meticulously describe how the city miraculously escapes from these orders of destruction. It tells us the story of a number of incidences and people from the occupied France which enabled the city to survive the Nazi war machine.

Oct 01, 2008 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a fabulous book. It puts such a human face on WW2. Eisenhour is running out of "petrol" and has to decide whether to by-pass Paris so he can get to Germany faster, and Hitler has told one of his general to torch Paris. The German general decides to send a fellow thru the German lines to Eisenhour and explain to him what is happening, and the guy has a heart attack. Really a great book. It is old.The general said I keep getting messages from Hitler--"Is Paris Burning?"
A really good documentary, regarding (Adolf Hitler's) chosen second in command General Dietrich von Choltitz to defend and destroy the city of Paris. For four years of seizure, since June 14, 1940 until August 25, 1944 from the Nazi's, the Parisian secretly communicating their allies (the U.S/England)for help, and the happy day of liberation.
Aug 28, 2011 Alisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended with an American I met in Paris. It provides a fascinating look at the Vichy occupation. While obviously our forebears here in the USA suffered during WWII, it is something else entirely to read about what was happening overseas, in the actual theaters of war.
Mar 30, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dramatic account of the days leading up to the Liberation of Paris, August 25th, 1944. This is a highly readable telling of the many events and many actors who played pivotal roles, as well as less well known parts in that fateful event. The author distills several years of research into a story that makes one realize how close the world came to seeing a beautiful city reduced to rubble. The use of recollections and service records from soldiers, French Resistance leaders, General (later U.S. ...more
Feb 08, 2012 Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A history fictionalized so that it reads like a gripping exciting novel. I read this many years ago, not long after it first came out and have never forgotten it.
Jun 09, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently acquired the unabridged audiobook, after having the hardback languish on my shelves so long that I sold it to the used book store. Glad to have finally got to "read" this one. The book does a good job of introducing a good number of characters. Some of the figures are covered in less depth than others, despite probably being as interesting as LeClerc or any of the other major figures. Some minor participants have interesting highlights. This isn't a life altering book. It is an intere ...more
Jul 19, 2015 Darlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edition: Pocket Books #95027.
Author: Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
Published 1966
Ah, Paris! The city of culture, lights, romance, wine and abounding beauty. This book tells the story of its occupation by Germany during WWII. The resistance, Vichy intrigue, German occupiers getting fat on the spoils, the women of France who conspired to save their lives and fought with the resistance to save the lives of others; all are poignantly written about. I live in a city of many lights myself. War h
David Bales
Jul 16, 2011 David Bales rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Exhaustively researched 1965 book by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, who also wrote "Freedom at Midnight" about the end of British rule in India; this book is titled after the query that Hitler exasperatedly asked his chief of staff in August, 1944, demanding that Paris be "defended to the last man and then destroyed down to the foundations." The end of German occupation is the subject of this book, specifically August, 1944, as the allies close in on Paris and the French Resistance stirs ...more
Apr 14, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the Allies closed in from the East and the West in August 1944, Adolf Hitler's top priority was to hold on to Paris at all costs. And if he had to lose Paris, he was determined to destroy it.
How that DIDN'T happen is the subject of Larry Collins' and Dominique LaPierre's 1965 book "Is Paris Burning," the third remarkable book I've read by this pair within the past few months.
The central figure is the German Gen. Dietrich von Choltitz, commander in Paris for the final 18 days that Germany held
Apr 13, 2008 Mark rated it liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs, travelers
I picked this book on recommendations from (the best online community for travelers). Candy & I went to Paris in March and I wanted to read something that was set there, had lots of references to places we'd see, and was fun to read. After giving up on a mystery novel set in Paris (bleh), I went with this nonfiction account of the liberation of the city in WW2.

The real-life story is amazing, starting with the actions of the French resistance in the days leading up the liberat
Mar 12, 2014 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
hugely readable, slightly overwrought history of the weeks leading up to and the eve-day of-day after of the liberation of Paris, compiled into a minute by minute narrative through indexing of interviews. It's cheesy in spots but ably highlights the moments of incomparable drama. dudes getting killed a few minutes before they would have reunited with family, the supreme joy of liberation day/night, heroism, faint but significant noble surrender on part of some germans. Really amazing moment when ...more
Oct 23, 2012 DaViD´82 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Obejít Paříž a dorazit do Berlína do Vánoc či osvobodit Paříž a protáhnout válku na západní frontě? Jako impresionistická malba. Z malých a na první pohled nesouvisejících bodů je vytvářen jeden konzistentní reportážní celek a to sice osvobození Paříže skrze osudy desítek a desítek lidí ze všech stran politického, válečného i lidského spektra; od tragických osudů (poslední vlak s politickými vězni) přes ty o hrdinství, kolaboranství, snaze o přežití i dojemné a až po ty úsměvné (zvlášť „Kterak s ...more
Anil Swarup
Jan 08, 2015 Anil Swarup rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Larry Collins has the eye for all the details but never lets the pace wane. It is indeed an engrossing narration of what transpired as Paris got "liberated". What is even more interesting is the relationship between two factions that played a crucial role in liberating the city. The frustrations of the Fuhrer as he slid down the precipice are also brought out beautifully. All in all a book worth reading but no where near the brilliance of "City of Joy".
Harish Kumar
Dec 26, 2015 Harish Kumar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
" Excellent read. If you are interested in factual information then i suggest 'Max Hasting'. Excellent job on capturing the emotions of Parisian and dilemma facing the Commander of Gross Paris. I personally feel, authors should have included a chapter about the future of von Choltitz, 'Rol', bobby bender. Compared to other books by the Duo, amount of factual information covered in this book is minimal. However, given that there are lot of books written of WW2, 'Is Paris Burning?' finds a good fi ...more
Richard Hoffman
Oct 06, 2015 Richard Hoffman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book as it gave me info about what was happening in Paris near the close of WWll. While it was an interesting book, I experienced a lot frustration trying to remember the various French and German characters and what they did. As usual for books with lots of characters, I make a brief list of the character as I go along to remember who does what. That helped!
Feb 10, 2009 MJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
Is Paris Burning recounts the days and stories leading to the liberation of Paris, and is not only breathtakingly exciting but tearfully tender. There are two books in my recent reading history that have plucked obscure stories and names from the past to redefine my concept of the word hero.

In A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide Samantha Power introduced me to Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew who escaped to America in 1941 and who spent the rest of his life in an attempt to coin th
May 02, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well researched and well balanced story of the liberation of Paris. The authors managed to interview Generals and Privates... Spies and Civilians... Germans, French (Communist and Gaullist) and Americans to bring to light this intriguing and amazing event.

If you ever wondered why Paris didn't end up like Stalingrad, the story is here.
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Born in West Hartford, Connecticut, he was educated at the Loomis Chaffee Institute in Windsor, Connecticut, and graduated from Yale as a BA in 1951. He worked in the advertising department of Procter and Gamble, in Cincinnati, Ohio, before being conscripted into the US Army. While serving in the public affairs office of the Allied Headquarters in Paris, from 1953-1955, he met Dominique Lapierre w ...more
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“la ration de viande était si réduite que les chansonniers prétendaient qu’on pouvait l envelopper dans un ticket de métro - à condition que le ticket n’eut pas été poinçonné, sinon, la viande risquait de tomber par le trou. (…) Certaines étoffes étaient en fibre de bois. (…) quelques cinémas restaient ouverts grâce aux générateurs électriques qu’actionnaient de vaillants pédaleurs. (1re partie, ch. 2)” 1 likes
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