Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation
  • Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation
  • Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation
  • Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation
  • Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation
  • Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation
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Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation

3.2 21
by Charles Glass
     
 

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In Americans in Paris, tales of adventure, intrigue, passion, deceit, and survival unfold season by season, from the spring of 1940 to liberation in the summer of 1944, as renowned journalist Charles Glass tells the story of a remarkable cast of expatriates and their struggles in Nazi Paris. Before the Second World War began, approximately thirty thousand Americans

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Overview

In Americans in Paris, tales of adventure, intrigue, passion, deceit, and survival unfold season by season, from the spring of 1940 to liberation in the summer of 1944, as renowned journalist Charles Glass tells the story of a remarkable cast of expatriates and their struggles in Nazi Paris. Before the Second World War began, approximately thirty thousand Americans lived in Paris, and when war broke out in 1939 almost five thousand remained. As citizens of a neutral nation, the Americans in Paris believed they had little to fear. They were wrong. Glass's discovery of letters, diaries, war documents, and police files reveals as never before how Americans were trapped in a web of intrigue, collaboration, and courage.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Once upon a time, historians told stories about the brave and the cowardly, about heroes, villains, and the many whose lives lay somewhere in between. That's what Glass (former chief Middle East correspondent, ABC News; Tribes with Flags) has done in this extraordinary narrative of the lives of the nearly 5000 Americans who lived in Paris during the German occupation from June 1940 to August 1944. For Clara de Chambrun, related by marriage to FDR on one side and the Vichy premier Laval on the other, life went on much as before—dinners at Maxim's, fine wine, dresses from Schiaparelli. But Sumner Jackson, chief surgeon at the American Hospital, was at constant risk for his work with the Resistance, spiriting Allied soldiers out of Paris. Millionaire Pierre Bedaux carried on business as usual, only with Germany now. Eventually arrested by the United States and charged with treason, he killed himself rather than face public humiliation. Glass is scrupulously fair to his subjects: there are no clear-cut villains in this story (although there are some heroes). VERDICT This is outstanding popular history, well researched and told and never oversimplified. It's difficult to conceive of anyone who wouldn't enjoy this exceptional book.—David Keymer, Modesto, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Well-traveled journalist Glass (The Tribes Triumphant, 2006, etc.) reckons with a handful of intrepid Americans who stuck it out in Paris during the Nazi occupation. Of the 30,000 Americans who lived in Paris before World War II, the author estimates that about 5,000 stayed after Germany invaded Poland in 1939, despite warnings to leave by American Ambassador William Bullitt. When the Nazis marched triumphantly through Paris in June 1940, the French premier had fled, essentially leaving Bullitt, who helped convince the Nazis not to bomb the city, in charge. Americans did not have cause to fear the Germans, as the United States would not declare war on Germany for another two years. Jews and blacks, however, were most often deported to camps. The remaining Americans were able to move rather fluidly between the French and German sides, and sometimes their loyalties grew murky and questionable. In alternating chapters that delineate the daily tension of four years in Occupied Paris, Glass pursues some of the notable American characters who congregated at the protected American sites, including Countess Clara Longworth de Chambrun, a Cincinnati heiress married to a French banker (and descendent of the Marquis de Lafayette), who was steadfast in keeping the American Library running during the Occupation; millionaire industrialist Charles Bedaux, who opened his country estate to marvelous collaborationist parties and later faced charges of treason; stalwart Yankee doctor Sumner Jackson, who tended prisoners and wounded at the American Hospital in Neuilly; and Sylvia Beach, American bookseller and publisher of James Joyce, who eventually had to close her seminal Shakespeare and Company storeunder Nazi threat of confiscation. "Everybody we knew was for resistance," she declared righteously. Most of Glass's tales aren't quite so clear-cut, but they illuminate a dark, fascinating period in World War II history. Agent: Tina Bennett/Janklow & Nesbit
From the Publisher
"A story of extraordinary precision... absorbing." —Financial Times

"Rich in intrigue and heroism... a fascinating treat." —Antony Beevor, Daily Telegraph (UK)

"Glass, a world-class journalist, proves a gifted historian in this electrifying account of resistance, collaboration, terror, and valor." — Parade magazine

"[Glass] skillfully uses memoirs, diaries, letters, documents and official records to draw a picture of expatriates caught in a mesh of deceit, bravery, self-sacrifice and fear, and places them in the context of diplomacy and the wider war." —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594202421
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/07/2010
Pages:
524
Product dimensions:
9.46(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A story of extraordinary precision... absorbing." —Financial Times

"Rich in intrigue and heroism... a fascinating treat." —Antony Beevor, Daily Telegraph (UK)

"Glass, a world-class journalist, proves a gifted historian in this electrifying account of resistance, collaboration, terror, and valor." — Parade magazine

"[Glass] skillfully uses memoirs, diaries, letters, documents and official records to draw a picture of expatriates caught in a mesh of deceit, bravery, self-sacrifice and fear, and places them in the context of diplomacy and the wider war." —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Meet the Author

CHARLES GLASS was the chief Middle East correspondent for ABC News from 1983 to 1993 and has covered wars in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. His writings appear in Harper's Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books, The Independent, and The Spectator. He is the author of Tribes with Flags, The Tribes Triumphant, Money for Old Rope, The Northern Front, and most recently Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation.

www.charlesglass.net

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Americans in Paris 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There was a fascinating person in this who was really pretty much unknown even now to prominent French people - despite the fact that he hosted the wedding of Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII at his chateau in Vichy France, and then offered it to the Americans to use as an embassy when the US declared war on Germany and the diplomats had to go to "Free France". Really interesting and well researched accounts of the English literary scene (incl. Joyce, Hemingway, etc.) supported by Sylvia Beach - a page turner. Does this want to become a documentary? So full of details we usually miss out on in accounts of wartime Europe. Brits and Americans put up by Nazis in luxury spa hotels in Vittel...
pgmetoo More than 1 year ago
This book is essentially a background piece to the obvious larger story of WW II but as it's own story it should be regarded as required reading in American schools on the vagaries of war and patriotism. Each and every character is brought back to life in an enlightening, provocative manner of writing. This is top notch story telling and the author constructed an easy, well connected flow from chapter to chapter which is hard to do when there is so much information provided. While a little heavy on names from time to time, this book is a definite page turner, a reading late into a weeknight book, even for a non-retiree. Confidently offering five stars for this book, even the dust jacket is beautiful.
JPMcW More than 1 year ago
If it weren't a true story, this book would win Fiction of the Year - its that good. I can't imagine how Glass does it. Why these people, these families, these years? Unshakably documented truths reveal a level of conviction, daring, courage, and selflessness that should be rewarded - but, no. There are cads, con-men, Nazi incompetents, and French traitors - and stalwart, unsung American heroes. This book led me to another, from his bibliography; "No Passport For Paris", by Alice Leone Moats - the central figure in one of the most tense real-life spy episodes in the book.(Another 5-star effort)Hemingway fans will be thrilled with the chapters about Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare & Co. - hanging out with James Joyce and hiding out from the SS. Vichy France was surely a snake-pit, but this is the only inside look at how bad it really was for Americans (other than shot-down fliers).Hitchcock and Speilberg wish they had a script this thrilling, and historically accurate - and an ending this heartbreaking. Five stars aren't enough...
Maywood More than 1 year ago
"American In Paris" is an engaging review of a World War Two period not often studied by students of history. It details the time period that Paris and Northern France were occupied by Nazi Germany and, more specifically, how it impacted United States citizens living in France, first with their country being neutral, and then, after Pearl Harbor, committed to the war and the Allied cause. The research by Charles Glass is extensive and most detailed and his descriptions of key Americans who chose to move with Nazi collaborartion or, on the other hand, support the resistance, is very descript. However, some of his characters and their relationship with others are at times difficult to follow, as the reader must remember multiple connections between individuals. Foe someone interested in history I would rate it as a first class review of an earlier phase of World War Two and highly recommend it's reading.
ljethrogibbs46 More than 1 year ago
Great treatment of the subject.  Many details on the &quot;cast of characters&quot; who populated the City of Light during a dark time.  One quibble:  Glass makes a common mistake when referring to German Army troops as the &quot;Wehrmacht&quot;.  That was the collective term for all German armed forces - Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, and das Heer .  The German army was actually &quot;das Heer&quot;.  As we are now discovering, not all the French were members of the Resistance.  Belatedly they're acknowledging that too many were collaborators.Like the old joke: Q:  what did the mayor of Paris say to the German commander when Axis troops marched into the city? A:  a table for 10,000, monsieur?
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mike100274 More than 1 year ago
I really liked how this book started out. Having been to Paris, I was amazed to hear how the Nazi occupation started in this area. But after that the book kind of lost me. He uses experiences from a lot of people to illustrate Paris during World War 2. I had a hard time keeping track of everybody and I ended up just not liking the book.
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Lalenyaj More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating account of a small segment of the American population who chose to remain during the occupation of France from 1939 to 1945. Although slanted toward the privileged class, this non-fictional account of Americans caught between the surreal and treacherous world of fanaticism was illuminating and quite captivating. It would have been even more interesting if characterization could have been expanded. Did people stay for perceived financial gain; artistic expression; foolish bravado or because wealth made them impervious to the hazards of living in an occupied territory with the hope they would be part of the new regime? Mr. Glass offers a compelling study of moral contradictions, although somewhat disjointed at times and the flow uneven. It was reported that 5,000 Americans opted to stay and risk their lives for reasons beyond comprehension. It would have been interesting to find out what happened to the thousands of nondescript Americans who survived to tell their stories from a different perspective. I would imagine they weren't billeted in hotels or villas in the French countryside or shared champagne and rare wines from the cellars of the Ritz with the enemy. Charles Bedaux seemed to be a study in self-aggrandizement. Was he a traitor or an archetypal narcissist? A lot of time was spent discussing him and his limited code of ethics. Bedaux appeared to do business with anyone for financial gain. Dr. Sumner Jackson and family were real life heroes. From the beginning of the occupation, they resisted the Germans. Jackson, a physician who worked at the American Hospital in Neuilly aided Allied soldiers to escape through the French resistance networks while patients at his hospital. His teenage son, Phillip was recruited for a clandestine mission to photograph German installations and a u-boat base at Saint-Nazaire. Jackson received from French resistance fighter, Michel Hollard, plans for the V-I rocket being secretly produced by the Germans targeting England. Without Jackson passing the plans to the British, the outcome of WW II could have been decidedly different. In August of 1944, it was reported that all three Jacksons were taken to Germany as "hostages." Secretary of State Cordell Hull demanded the Germans reveal their whereabouts, but the Germans never responded. On April 21st 1945, the British reached the outskirts of Neuengamme while the Nazis herded the remaining inmates into cattle cars to L&#252;beck including Jackson and his son. For reasons unknown, they were then placed on a cargo ship, destination unclear. Phillip survived after an RAF bombing of the ship but Jackson was never found. His wife managed to survive Ravensbr&#252;ck. What was more deplorable and still is today, the disparate treatment of Black Americans. The United States refusal to allow their participation in liberation parades or receive acknowledgements for outstanding service during WW II has been a stain on America for decades. Little information about Black Americans and their contribution to the war effort is mentioned. Volumes are written about WW II, however, little mention was made of the 300,000 Jews who were living in France in 1940 and the more than 100,000 who were transported to concentration camps and perished. Or how the Vichy government collaborated with the Gestapo turning a blind eye to what awaited more than 6,000,000 Jews and 5,000,000 other individuals. Americans?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dull account of great story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
More wanted cultural statement than any depth in history