Marcia's Reviews > Paris: The Secret History

Paris by Andrew Hussey
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's review
Jun 13, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, read-in-2010, european-history, history-nonfiction, read-and-gave-away

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. This is an history of Paris from Roman times to the present focusing on the working classes, the revolutionary, the thieves, the homeless, the prostitutes, the students, the literary underground, and other people on the margins. So often history is told from the perspectives of the royalty, the nobles, and the borgeousie, and it's refreshing whenever one gets to read about the lives of everyday people. The sheer scope of the time period covered means that Hussey often doesn't go into a lot of detail, and there are many off-handed comments that left me intrigued and wanting to learn more about certain incidents or people. Still, as an overview, this was very interesting portrait of a city and it's people constantly in flux. It's fairly readable, although sometimes I found Hussey's style to be somewhat lacking, and there are some bizarre grammar constructs that left me shaking my head and rereading paragraphs over and over to figure out what he was trying to say. Recommended for the casual student of history and those interested in Paris.
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