Haussmann by Michel Carmona
His Life and Times, and the Making of Modern Paris

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Baron Haussmann, the famous “architect” of modern Paris, has been an enigma for historians for more than a century. But in Michel Carmona, the baron has found a biographer worthy of his fascinating and influential life. Haussmann is not, however, a book only about the controversial prefect of the Seine: Mr. Carmona has effectively set his life against the background of nineteenth-century European society. Exhaustively researched and written with remarkable balance, the book is as much a social and political history as it is a biography. We see Haussmann’s early years and his entry into civic life as an administrator; the problems of urban existence faced by the city of Paris; Haussmann’s reign as the designated chief of Napoléon III’s grand scheme for the renewal of the French capital; and the so-called ”Haussmannization” of Paris. Some observers today still see Haussmann’s grands travaux as the criminal work of a modern Nero—a man intent on destroying old Paris and willing to cook the books and throw poor people out of their homes in order to achieve his ends. Others see him as a clairvoyant creator of the modern, hygienic, and organized city, who created a style that would become a model for urban transformation. Mr. Carmona has examined the record and has written a superb biography that will be of special interest to architects, urban planners, and anyone interested in the life of great cities. With 12 pages of black-and-white illustrations.

About Michel Carmona

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Michel Carmona is professor of geography and town and country planning at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Published March 29, 2002 by Ivan R. Dee. 512 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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This self-confident vision formed early on, his biographer asserts, and owes much to an offhand remark Haussmann’s grandfather once made to him: “We don’t know well enough how many resources France contains and how rich and powerful it would become if it were well governed—above all, well adminis...

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Publishers Weekly

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The notorious city planner for Napoléon III, and prefect of the Seine region, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann turned Paris from a still medieval urban area to a triumphant imperial city—Haussmann makes New York's Robert Moses look timid by comparison.

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London Review of Books

Underlying this commitment there was also a fantasy of the great imperial city, centre and symbol of power, especially commercial power, a city of display in which the outstanding commodity to be looked at was the city itself, often in the mirror of the World Exhibitions (one reason why Second Em...

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