The Man Who Made Paris: The Illustrated Biography of George-Eugene Haussmann

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9781902809335: The Man Who Made Paris: The Illustrated Biography of George-Eugene Haussmann
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This well-researched biography, illustrated with archival and modern photographs, explores the life of the civil servant who masterminded the transformation of Paris from a disease-ridden Medieval city into the City of Light.

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From the Inside Flap:

Can the man who can justifiably claim to have created one of the world's great cities have been anything other than a grand architect or engineer? Yes! Georges-Eugne Haussmann was neither. Instead he was one of the greatest public adminitrators the world has ever known. Every stage of his life became another step in his preparation for the prodigious destiny to which he would be summoned as his Prefect by the all-powerful French Emperor, Napoleon III. His mandate? 'Rebuild Paris. Let us creat a capital worthy of an empire!' The immediate sybiosis between the two men was bound to arouse jealousy among the politicians of the day. Eventually they would bring the Prefect down and even try to write him out of the history of the century to come. As a child, Georges-Eugne's health suffered in the dank and claustrophobic medieval city that was dying under the weight of its own decay. Fresh air, cleanliness and unclogged streets became his growing passions. Wholesale destruction of the past would cause this man no qualms. He had learned from his beloved Bordeaux where he had served as Prefect -- with its parks, elegant buildings and broad thoroughfares -- what a city could be. Miraculous as was Haussmann's tranformation of Paris in only 17 years, there is even more to this original man than his ability to marshall scores of architects and 14,000 workers to achieve his goals. Boastful and vain, he was a great showman. Host to to the rulers of Europe, leader of the quadrille far into the night, Haussmann also had the kind of courage that can quell - alone and unarmed -- a menacing mob. And what a show he knew how to put on! Sometimes it was fireworks and street dancing, sometimes a colorful spectacle to speed his emperor on to further glory -- a glory that ended in ignominy and defeat. This carefully researched and entertaining biography is written by the perfect candidate, an American posted to Paris who, on learning of Haussmann, was able to study his subject free of the seemingly built-in prejudice that so long plagued the man who made Paris ... Paris.

About the Author:

arrived in Paris to head up the European edition of the New York Herald Tribune and was so captivated by the city that he became the biographer of George-Eugene Haussmann, one of its leading planners and citizens.

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