By Graham Robb

This is often the Paris you by no means knew. From the Revolution to the current, Graham Robb has distilled a sequence of impressive actual narratives, all stranger than fiction, of the lives of the good, the near-great, and the forgotten.

A younger artillery lieutenant, walking throughout the Palais-Royal, observes disapprovingly the courtesans plying their alternate. a selected lady catches his eye; nature takes its path. Later that evening Napoleon Bonaparte writes a meticulous account of his first sexual come upon. A well-dressed lady, fleeing the Louvre, takes a fallacious flip and loses her method within the anonymous streets of the Left financial institution. For wish of a map—there have been no trustworthy ones on the time—Marie-Antoinette will visit the guillotine.

Baudelaire, the photographer Marville, Baron Haussmann, the real-life Mimi of l. a. Boheme, Proust, Adolf Hitler traveling the occupied capital within the corporation of his generals, Charles de Gaulle (who is suspected of getting faked an assassination try out in Notre Dame)—these and plenty of extra are Robb’s solid of characters, and the settings diversity from the quarries and catacombs underneath the streets to the grand monuments to the appalling suburbs ringing town this day. the result's a resonant, intimate background with the ability of a very good novel.

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This development was also a consequence of increased German control in the southern zone and the after-effects of the 1942 invasion. Thereafter, the Germans dominated and Vichy economic thinking had no choice but to adapt itself to the prevailing wind. 45 For the most part, however, the regime’s attitude to issues like demography and reproduction has been interpreted as traditionalist and reactionary; Copley argues that ‘conservative France wished for a moral revolution’46 and Pétain was sure that the disaster of 1940 was inextricably linked to the falling French birth-rate—and the knock-on consequence of this for the military effort.

61 We should also be aware of other ways in which the Occupation has been characterised. In many poster images during and after the war, the Occupation was likened to slavery, submission and subservience. 64 The German presence Underlying all of this was the presence of the Germans. 65 The Gestapo in France was made up of approximately 2,000 men and officials. For most of the time, and particularly in the hours of darkness, the Gestapo was feared; the presence of its officers made everyone anxious, and instantaneous arrests often accompanied its operations.

What we are dealing with here is a group of hardcore collaborators—The Ideologists’:95 people like Jacques Doriot, Marcel Déat, Robert Brasillach, Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Alphonse de Châteaubriant, Lucien Rebatet, Fernand de Brinon, Jean Luchaire and Joseph Darnand. To a significant degree, they shared a common set of beliefs. They were overtly pro-Nazi and anticommunist and upheld the notion of ‘la France allemande’;96 they saw the Occupation as an opportunity for ‘national regeneration’ along fascist lines—and also for some kind of European solidarity under the aegis of Hitler’s Germany; and they exhibited a pathological hatred of Jews.

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