Life and Death of a Spanish Town took an island off the Spanish coast and brought it alive, made its people, its politics, its sympathies, its petty feuds, its growing significance the reader's. Now he takes, as symbol for that part of Paris which does not make its laws nor mold its policies, a short street, the rue de la Huchette, a street that runs parallel to the Seine, a few years south of the quai. Through the post-war twenties to the death of Paris at Nazi hands, he experiences intimately, understandingly, the life and moods and adventures and emotions and passions and hates and loves of the people of that crowded little street. CafÃ‰ and hotel, shop and bordel, street and lodging -- all had their place and the effect is a revolving kaleidoscope of impressions ever deepening as the characters cross the little stage. For a time one's interest is caught first by one, than another, now this situation, now that, until the places begin to fit into place, and a reflection of Paris and France emerges. A book in which the reader actively does his part -- or he misses its charm. Not, therefore a book for the reader who wants it all done for him by the author. And, I wondered as I read, whether a good deal of it would be lost if one had no background, however superficial, and no affection for the old Paris. Might one feel, perhaps, that in its decadence it deserved to perish?