Paris After the Liberation
An enthralling account of the French capital’s transition from German occupation to post-war liberty, with a new introduction by the authors.
‘Few countries love their liberators once the cheering dies away.’ With this telling insight, Antony Beevor and Artemis Cooper begin their enthralling account of the political and cultural upheaval that gripped France, and Paris in particular, at the end of the Second World War.
In 1944, standing on the balcony of the Hôtel de Paris, de Gaulle claimed that Paris had been ‘liberated by herself, liberated by her people’. While most Parisians rejoiced, collaborators scrambled to avoid the épuration sauvage. But the reality of a bankrupted economy, a freezing winter, the devastating effects of rationing plus lawless gangsters and black-marketeers would affect resistance hero and Vichy collaborator alike. This authoritative account untangles the manoeuvrings of numerous factions and parties, from the powerful Communist stranglehold on the unions to the isolated figure of de Gaulle himself, out of power, but ‘waiting’ for his chance to return. It reveals just how close France came to the brink of revolution and civil war, and the fears and frustrations of the Allied commanders as they observed gratitude for wartime assistance turn to a prickly pride that resented any American ‘Coca-colonisation’.
Three-quarter-bound in buckram with a paper front board, printed with a photograph of an AFPU photographer kissing a child before cheering crowds, 26 August 1944
Set in Adobe Garamond Pro
Frontispiece and 32 pages of colour and black & white plates
10˝ x 6¾˝