Why this book?
Hazan knows every nook and cranny of his city. He exults in the buildings and architecture, but his main subject is the people who wove the fabric of its diverse communities and their histories. He takes us on a historical journey that passes from the salons of the old aristocracy to the artisanal districts where popular, revolutionary activism was born. Hazan makes no attempt to conceal his left-wing sympathies, but he is equally at home admiring the Art Nouveau gems of the well-heeled 16th arrondissement as he is enjoying the vibrant, ethnically diverse northern districts of the city. Hazan’s love of the human life of Paris shines through.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
The Invention of Paris is a tour through the streets and history of the French capital under the guidance of radical Parisian author and publisher Eric Hazan. Hazan reveals a city whose squares echo with the riots, rebellions and revolutions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Combining the raconteur's ear for a story with a historian's command of the facts, he introduces an incomparable cast of characters: the literati, the philosophers and the artists-Balzac, Baudelaire, Blanqui, Flaubert, Hugo, Maney, and Proust, of course; but also Doisneau, Nerval and Rousseau. It is a Paris dyed a deep red in its convictions.…