We are very pleased that Stephane Kirkland‘s PARIS REBORN: Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann and the Quest to Build a Modern City (St. Martin’s Press, just published, now in its second printing) is getting such terrific attention, and is debuting on the bestseller lists in The Denver Post. After an inaugural reading at BookCourt in Brooklyn on April 2nd, Stephane spoke with Yvette van Boven in a program entitled “Eat, Drink & Think Like Napoleon III” at the 92Y Tribeca on the 7th, read at the Tattered Cover in Denver on the 11th, and spoke with David Downie, author of PARIS TO THE PYRENEES: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of St. James (Pegasus Books) at McNally-Jackson Books in Soho on Tuesday.
Just prior to the London Book Fair, Jonathan Yardley reviewed the book in the Washington Post, saying:
[Kirkland] clearly knows Paris intimately, writes lucid and engaging prose, and is both spirited in his advocacy of Napoleon III and clear-eyed about how he was able to do what he did. … While it is an immense pleasure to accompany him as he leads us through the planning and building of the great boulevards, the construction of the Opera House and the reconstruction of the Louvre, it is also sobering to realize that in the process of gaining much, Paris lost much as well, in particular medieval neighborhoods that had profoundly influenced the city’s character.
Pre-publication reviews were equally good:
Kirkland is an able navigator of architectural history—vivid descriptions abound, and the evolution of the city’s infrastructure, public spaces, and other amenities is a testament to the oft overlooked reign of Napoleon III. Lovers of the City of Light and urban planners alike will find Kirkland’s survey illuminating.
Fascinating and highly readable, this is strongly recommended for Francophiles, travelers, and students of urban history and planning.
—Library Journal (starred review)
A solid retelling of an always-interesting tale of the first great urban-planning achievement.