Parisians, Graham Robb
… Louis Chevalier hated people for liking Paris in ignorance of what it had once been. To him, Paris was a composite place built up over the ages, a picture book of superimposed transparencies, over-populated with the dead and haunted by the ghosts of the living.
Want to know about Paris from the people who actually spend their time there? Go for an ‘Adventure history of Paris’ instead of the ordinary travel guide. Graham Robb writes very personally but incredibly readably – he really knows his french history but he isn’t writing for history buffs. There are all kinds of stories in here, from the modern day right back to pre-revolutionary France. Sixteenth century poets to a bit of Proust (hurrah!), student riots in the sixties to the building of the metro. This is the real gritty history of Paris, supplied by Parisians.