Paris, Capital of Modernity

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9780415944212: Paris, Capital of Modernity

Collecting David Harvey's finest work on Paris during the second empire, Paris, Capital of Modernity offers brilliant insights ranging from the birth of consumerist spectacle on the Parisian boulevards, the creative visions of Balzac, Baudelaire and Zola, and the reactionary cultural politics of the bombastic Sacre Couer. The book is heavily illustrated and includes a number drawings, portraits and cartoons by Daumier, one of the greatest political caricaturists of the nineteenth century.

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About the Author:

David Harvey is one of the world's leading critical intellectuals. He is the author of 10 books, many of which are classics. He now teaches at the CUNY Graduate Center and the London School of Economics, after many years teaching at Johns Hopkins and Oxford.

From Publishers Weekly:

Drawing on essays written over the last 30 years, Harvey brings one of the most fascinating and confounding periods of French-or for that matter, European-history into sharp relief. He asserts that two conceptions of modernity were nurtured in Paris in the years after the First Empire-one bourgeois, and the other founded on the idea of the "social republic" geared toward benefiting all classes of citizens. Harvey traces these conflicting movements over the decades leading up to the Revolution of 1848 and charts their reverberations through the final days of the Paris Commune. The book is richly illustrated with over a hundred period photographs and cartoons by Daumier and others, which serve to reinforce the notion of Paris as a city of contrasts in a period of profound change. And Harvey is as comfortable and adept at quoting pertinent passages from the romantic novelists as he is offering detailed economic analyses of real estate and labor market dynamics. By making use of primary sources from diverse disciplines, he offers a thorough examination of the period: he explores, for instance, the role of women and class strictures and the consequences of urban planning and public transportation. The worst that can be said of this exhaustive investigation into the complicated and turbulent era of the Second Empire is that Harvey presupposes an intermediate knowledge of many of the important actors and events. As he weaves the humanities, philosophy, economics and sociology into a detailed tapestry, the author leaves remedial explanations of Parisian and French social movements to the authors listed in a well-annotated bibliography. This is not a problem in and of itself, but readers expecting a breezy history of the "City of Lights" may find themselves overwhelmed by the complexity and depth of this book.
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Harvey, David
Published by Routledge (2003)
ISBN 10: 041594421X ISBN 13: 9780415944212
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Harvey, David
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ISBN 10: 041594421X ISBN 13: 9780415944212
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