Haussmann: 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 Napoleon 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amelish - LibraryThing

Useful book with some interesting discussion of the Paris World Fairs as they relate to urban planning upheavals of the mid-19th century. Maybe it's the fault of the translation, but the language in this book seems a little... basic. Read full review

HAUSSMANN: His Life and Times, and the Making of Modern Paris

User Review  - Kirkus

A plodding but useful life of a man well known to French readers as the architect behind the great plazas, parks, and avenues of Paris.Georges Eugène Haussmann (1809-91) didn't come up with the ... Read full review


The Prince Paris Haussmann
Haussmann Before Haussmann
Subprefect in the Age of the Bourgeois King

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About the author (2002)

Michel Carmona is professor of geography and town and country planning at the Sorbonne in Paris.

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