This is not a walking guide to Paris, but it is most certainly a guide to seeing and knowing Paris, one no Francophile...




Having lived in Paris for more than 20 years, Baxter (The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris, 2011, etc.), a guide to literary walks through the city, won’t show you exactly which streets to follow; rather, he’ll teach you how to know Paris and truly feel the enjoyment of flânerie.

The activity of flânerie encompasses wandering aimlessly, going with the wind, and observing life as you go. One day, a customer asked the author if he did night walks, and the author decided that the five senses should be his guides. The joy of his writing is to realize that, even after living there for two decades, Paris still provides him with new avenues to explore. He divides the book into itineraries guided by the senses, but readers will need to dig deep to appreciate the connections. Readers who love Paris will likely love this book. No one can successfully write about Paris unless they truly love every nuance, oddity, and secret of her life; here, the author shines. Baxter’s knowledge of those who have written about Paris—for years, he has collected such work—will lead readers to all sorts of corners that do not show up in any tourist guides. The author cites surrealist Philippe Soupault’s Last Nights of Paris (1929) to show that in Paris at night, there may not be as much to see as many believe. Rather, the nighttime is a perfect canvas for thinking, a blank page on which to exercise the imagination, developing ideas in the dark. In closing, Baxter writes, “each of us must, in our own way, as with a new lover, seduce, or allow ourselves to be seduced by the Paris night.”

This is not a walking guide to Paris, but it is most certainly a guide to seeing and knowing Paris, one no Francophile should be without.

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-229625-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Perennial/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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