Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation

Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation

by Charles Glass


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143118664
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/22/2011
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 111,116
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

Table of Contents

Maps xiii

List of Illustrations xvii

Introduction 1

Part 1 14 June 1940

1 The American Mayor of Paris 9

2 The Bookseller 24

3 The Countess from Ohio 37

4 All Blood Runs Red 50

5 Le Millionnaire américain 60

6 The Yankee Doctor 66

Part 2 1940

7 Bookshop Row 89

8 Americans at Vichy 98

9 Back to Paris 113

10 In Love with Love 121

11 A French Prisoner with the Americans 136

12 American Grandees 139

13 Polly's Paris 144

14 Rugged Individualists 150

15 Germany's Confidential American Agent 159

Part 3 1941

16 The Coldest Winter 169

17 Time to Go? 174

18 New Perils in Paris 180

19 Utopia in Les Landes 188

20 To Resist, to Collaborate or to Endure 193

21 Enemy Aliens 204

Part 4 1942

22 First Round-up 213

23 The Vichy Web 224

24 The Second Round-up 239

25 'Inturned' 246

26 Uniting Africa 261

27 Americans Go to War 268

28 Murphy Forgets a Friend 275

29 Alone at Vittel 280

30 The Bedaux Dossier 283

Part 5 1943

31 Murphy versus Bedaux 291

32 Sylvia's War 298

33 German Agents? 304

34 A Hospital at War 310

35 The Adolescent Spy 314

36 Clara under Suspicion 318

37 Calumnies 325

Part 6 1944

38 The Trial of Citizen Bedaux 335

39 The Underground Railway 341

40 Conspiracies 347

41 Springtime in Paris 350

42 The Maquis to Arms! 358

43 Résistants Unmasked 363

44 Via Dolorosa 371

45 Schwarze Kappelle 374

46 Slaves of the Reich 376

47 One Family Now 378

48 The Paris Front 385

49 Tout Mourir 393

Part 7 24-26 August 1944

50 Liberating the Rooftops 407

51 Libération, not Liberation 411

Epilogue 413

Endnotes 419

Acknowledgements 491

Select Bibliography 495

Index 501

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

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Americans in Paris 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 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 "cast of characters" 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 "Wehrmacht".  That was the collective term for all German armed forces - Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, and das Heer .  The German army was actually "das Heer".  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?
ElenaDanielson on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Interesting topic, I wanted to find out more about Rene de Chambrun, ok treatment, but disjointed and limited. I wish the author had used more multilingual research assistants to scour sources, and had a talented editor to rearrange sections for coherence, and then had time to pull the threads together about the significance of expat Paris for Americans and French....
TomVeal on LibraryThing 19 days ago
The title is imprecise: The geographical scope is wider than Paris, and the featured Americans had stronger ties to France than to the U.S. That is why they stayed there after the French army's collapse and the division of the country between a German-occupied zone and the territory of the collaborationist Vichy regime. Leaving would have entailed the sacrifice of extensive business interests or close personal friendships or humanitarian enterprises.Americans in Paris follows the fortunes of about half a dozen of these Franco-Americans. They are not a representative sample. Except for a few who show up only in vignettes, all have been the subjects of other books. They include industrialist and efficiency expert Charles Bedaux, the aristocratic de Chambrun family (père an American citizen in his own mind, mère and fils in reality), Dr. Sumner Jackson of the American Hospital in Paris, and Sylvia Beach, proprietress of the original Shakespeare and Company, Paris's leading English language bookstore. I suspect that octogenarian Charles Anderson, a minor business functionary married to a French woman, is more typical. He gets only a passage near the end of the book, and that passage aims to score points against American racism rather than illuminate the experience of living in wartime Paris.The advantage of the atypical main characters is that they have fascinating, and very different, stories. On one side is Dr. Jackson, who used his hospital position to help downed Allied airmen escape from the Germans. More ambivalent are the Chambruns, who worked to keep the American Hospital and American Library out of Nazi hands but showed no sympathy for the Resistance and were on good terms with Pierre Laval, whose daughter Chambrun fils had married. M. Bedaux alternately fought with and sought to profit from both Vichy and Berlin. At the end of his life, he was facing treason charges in the United States; the post-war French government awarded him a posthumous knighthood of the Legion of Honor. Sylvia Beach, fiercely anti-Nazi but intent on keeping her bookstore running, kept her head down.Because the author's sources are, for the most part, his subjects themselves or their family and friends, all look at least a little bit heroic. Because all but Miss Beach were comparatively affluent, their sufferings were doubtless less than those of a Charles Anderson. There is room for a more comprehensive study of expatriate Americans' "life and death under Nazi occupation". This one, nevertheless, fills part of the niche quite admirably.
andalusiac on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Amazing that the author could make such an interesting episode in history so BORING. He only followsa handful of people whos memoirs he was able to check out of the library. Unfortunately, not much happened to them during the occupation. No stories of dramatic resistance, nothing at all about the Jews of Paris, and very little about what the city was actually like under occupation.Tres disappointing!
Anonymous 10 months ago
I enjoyed this book tremendously. I love history and the stories behind the events. The strong , brave people who have fought for freedom, unsung heroes that you don't read about in history books. They make history so much more important, meaningful & interesting .
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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 Lübeck 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 Ravensbrück. 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