Paris at War: 1939-1944

Paris at War: 1939-1944

by David Drake


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674504813
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 11/16/2015
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 896,717
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

David Drake has taught at universities in London and Paris and has published widely on French intellectual and cultural history.

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Paris at War: 1939-1944 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Rosemary-Standeven More than 1 year ago
There is a famous quote attributed to Stalin: “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic”. This book, more than anything else, is an embodiment of this quote. Millions of people died or had their lives irreparably damaged by World War II, and almost everyone today is aware of the statistics. What this book brings home to the reader, through its use of diary entries of ordinary Parisians alongside the historical timeline, is how the German occupation of Paris impinged upon the every day life (and death) of every person within the city. I began writing this review by outlining what happened, what I learned that surprised me (lots!), things I thought that deserved wider attention ....I wrote more notes on this book (about 15 A4 sides!), than on any other book I have read in the last decade. And then I finally realised, that I want you to read this book – not my review. When reading this book, you get to know some of the individuals living (subsisting) in Paris during the occupation. You know that things are going to get worse before liberation, but you start the (mistakenly) believe that all “your” people will survive as their words have done, that history will change – at least in some small cases. And, yes – it is not all bleak. At the end of the book is a round up of what happened to the diarists, some of whom made it into the 21st century. But for me, one of the most upsetting sentences in the book was: “deported to Drancy (Auschwitz/ Bergen Belsen/ Sobibor ....) and never returned”. This is a book about the quiet heroism of ordinary people, and the veniality and evil of others. There are the historical facts, figure and statistics, but also the tragedies and triumphs of individuals. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Stunning, compelling, informative, life-affirming and tragic. Read it!