Paris 1919-1939: Art, Life & Culture
By Vincent Bouvet, Gérard Durozoi
Why this book?
Having read well over two dozen books on the subject of French history, with a general focus on the especially vibrant period in Paris from the end of World War I to the beginning of World War II, and a laser focus on the 1920s, I find it nearly impossible to rank these five books in the order of their importance. That said, I am choosing this book as my 1st recommendation because at 416 pages, and richly illustrated by hundreds of stunning photographs and images, it casts the broadest, most comprehensive net over this extraordinary era. I proclaim the two decades in Paris that readers will discover in this book, to represent the most important international convergence of painters, sculptors, intellectuals, novelists, poets, playwrights, journalists, dancers, actors, choreographers, musicians, composers, photographers, designers, and fashionistas, in the history of the world. Do I exaggerate? Here is a very incomplete list, plucked at random from the index, of a tiny handful of the historic luminaries from diverse disciplines who walk through the pages of this extraordinary work:
Guillaume Apollinaire, Josephine Baker, Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Coco Chanel, Robert Capa, Maurice Chevalier, Salvador Dali, Marlene Dietrich, Sergei Diaghilev, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Janet Flanner, André Gide, Jean Gabin, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Kiki de Montparnasse, Jeanne Lanvin, Amedeo Modigliani, Henri Matisse, Friedrich Nietzsche, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, Man Ray, Igor Stravinsky, Jean-Paul Sartre, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Paul Valéry, Emile Zola, among many others...
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