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Transforming Paris: The Life and Labors of Baron Haussmann
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Transforming Paris: The Life and Labors of Baron Haussmann

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  33 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 455 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Free Press
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Lauren Albert
If Haussmann could have grovelled at his own feet, I do believe he would have. A distinctly unlikeable man. His memoirs and letters bespeak a man whose arrogance is so great he feels no need to hide it. "In the twenty-two years that I have been in departmental administration," he wrote, "I have never seen a prefect greeted as I came to be greeted..."

Jordan writes of him, "Haussmann might inspire respect, but he rarely engendered friendship...He had no instinct for personal affection; he generat
May 23, 2012 Kitty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the resources for my research into the Paris Commune, 1871. Not only does this book provide wonderful information about the layout of Paris as we know it today, the author helped me understand the social stucture of the time. In addition, plans and actions detailed by the author dovetailed nicely with the subsequent rationale of the Communards.

By itself, this book is very informative; as background information for a researcher, Jordan's volumn is crucial.
Mar 27, 2013 Phil rated it liked it
Shelves: france, architecture
Extremely detailed bio of the man who brought us the beautiful city we know today. Like New York's Robert Moses, he steamrollered over any opposition to build the boulevards (and the sewers) of Paris in the mid 19th century. A bit more reading than I needed to get the picture, it's well researched and documented. One small point - the author is very proud of the 19th century map used in the endpieces, but the print is to small to read. If you're familiar with Paris and really want to know how he ...more
Dec 08, 2007 amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time for yet another paper on Haussmannization. When will they end? Maybe when I stop going back to architecture school. Anyway, this is a solid overview of Baron Haussmann's role in the overhaul of Paris c. 1850-1870. Insufficient attention is paid to the sewers, but I guess a girl can't have it all.
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Fun read...the Robert Moses of the Second Empire.
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David P. Jordan received his Ph.D. from Yale University, USA. He is the Distinguished Professor of French History, Emeritus, at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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“Napoléon solved none of the problems of Paris. His energies were too focused upon celebrating his own glory and solidifying his usurped throne, and too often diverted by warfare, which drained away the money needed for urban transformation.” 0 likes
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