Title: City of Light: The Making of Modern Paris
Author: Rupert Christiansen
Publisher: Basic Books 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Library Love; Nonfiction Bingo - Set Outside North America
In 1853, French emperor Louis Napoleon inaugurated a vast and ambitious program of public works in Paris, directed by Georges-Eugène Haussmann, the prefect of the Seine. Haussmann transformed the old medieval city of squalid slums and disease-ridden alleyways into a "City of Light" characterized by wide boulevards, apartment blocks, parks, squares and public monuments, new rail stations and department stores, and a new system of public sanitation. City of Light charts this fifteen-year project of urban renewal which--despite the interruptions of war, revolution, corruption, and bankruptcy--set a template for nineteenth and early twentieth-century urban planning and created the enduring landscape of modern Paris now so famous around the globe.
Random library pick that I took with me on our road trip. I enjoyed this slim volume more than I thought I would. I love following the story of the creation of modern Paris. Urban planning is one of those weird niche interests that I really reading about. This definitely scratched that itch for me. I learned a ton about French political history throughout the 1800s (not my area of history) and more about architecture. Very slim, yet very accessible volume.
Next up on the TBR pile: