Transforming Paris: The Life and Labors of Baron Haussmann

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9780226410388: Transforming Paris: The Life and Labors of Baron Haussmann

Today's Paris is largely the legacy of Baron Haussmann, who created the 'City of Lights' during the last half of the nineteenth century. Although neither architect nor engineer, Haussmann reshaped France's capital during his seventeen years as Prefect of the Seine under Napoleon III. Haussmann demolished much of the crowded medieval Paris and replaced it with grand boulevards, majestic spaces, and triumphant monuments. Set against the political intrigue and social upheavals of the era of the Commune and the revolutions of 1848, Transforming Paris reveals how Haussmann came to have the power to remake the city.

At once an elegantly written biography of Haussmann and an accessible history of Paris's transition into a modern city, this book will appeal to historians and delight anyone intrigued by Paris.

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About the Author:

David P. Jordan is the LAS Distinguished Professor of French History at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author of Transforming Paris and The Revolutionary Career of Maximilien Robespierre.

From Publishers Weekly:

Prefect of the Seine under Emperor Louis Napoleon, overbearing, enormously energetic, authoritarian urban planner Georges-Eugene Haussmann (1809-91) left an indelible imprint on Paris. Razing much of the congested, decaying old city, in demolitions that left tens of thousands homeless, he built broad boulevards, parks, squares and bridges, created neighborhoods and imposed a harmonious, rational design on the imperial capital. To Jordan (The Revolutionary Career of Maximilien Robespierre), Haussmann was a new breed of bureaucrat, a technocrat, who for all his aloofness and administrative rigidity expressed the ideals of his age-rational order, incessant movement, progress, an urban life lived in public-in the modernized City of Light. Professor of history at the University of Illinois, Jordan surmises that Haussmann's frail, sickly childhood influenced his adult obsession with cleanliness, manifested in the Paris sewer system he built. This is a wonderfully evocative biography, rich in architectural and political history. Illustrations.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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