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4.0 out of 5 starsWell done!!
Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2019
This is a very interesting story about a pivotal event in modern history. It is told well and includes the perspectives and roles of the military as well as civilian populations. Some of this has been chronicled in other books I have read but other parts were new to me which made it more interesting. Like any story, not everything that happened could be included and it raises questions as well as provides answers. We were all touched by what happened during this period in Paris and I think this book is enlightening in that regard. It also shines a light on some important figures, mainly Eisenhower, De Gaulle and von Choltitz, while it also shares the stories of the resistance and the political personalities. I highly recommend this book.
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2021
I've read a lot of WW II history--including books about the years leading up to the war and the immediate aftermath--and always look for books rich with detail and that have a driving narrative line. This book disappointed me. The writing was very bland. The author repeated himself, for instance when he kept pointing out how good a relationship Ike and De Gaulle had. The book just didn't have the kind of detail that makes history come alive. I just finished two remarkable books about WW II, Poland 1939 and 1941: Fighting the Shadow War. Each of those was enthralling and kept me turning the pages. This one? I turned them more and more slowly with a growing sense of disappointment until I decided to return it.
5.0 out of 5 starsA great read on how Eisenhower managed to balance military needs & political realities
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2020
This is a short book written by an eminent historian. Well-written and fast paced. Eisenhower as President let the press paint him as a slow and a naive person, but behind that facade was a cunning strategic thinker and doer. This book about his realistic actions to save Paris from Hitler's orders to destroy it show Eisenhower's political and strategic skills to accept the necessity that Paris had to be saved when that was not Roosevelt's nor the British command's desire or plan. Along the way you meet an outstanding German General and various dedicated French and Swedish officials who helped Eisenhower save Paris.
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent telling of the liberation of Paris
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2019
The themes: US didn’t really want to bother with Paris, DeGaulle pushed the allies into the position he wanted & the German commanding officer’s respect for the grand city and his recognition that Hitler had lost his mind are very well laid out in an interesting manner. The book has helped me get a better understanding of the latter part of the war on the continent.
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2019
This concise book is a very easy one to read. The subject, the liberation of Paris in 1944, has been written about many times in the past. Smith makes the story come alive. Normally a biographer, Smith goes afield to relate a fascinating story. This is an excellent book if you know nothing about the liberation of Paris and excellent book for someone who needs a refresher.
5.0 out of 5 starsInteresting, first-hand, historical view of the occupation of Paris.
Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2020
I am a true Francophile and have a keen interest in the history of WW II. This book revealed so much to me about the history of this very spectacular collaboration to save Paris from Hitler's wish to destroy it. This book even compelled me to watch the movie Is Paris Burning?
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent study of one event in WWII
Reviewed in the United States on February 24, 2020
This is a well-written, balanced study of the end of the German occupation of Paris in WWII. Since it has a narrow focus, you are given a very complete view of the event, the motivations of the major players and the broader concerns that drove them. Would recommend to anyone interested in history or WWII specifically.
From my previous reading I understood there was a significant amount of fighting on entering Paris, but this book mostly fails to address that. I found that a little surprising, but nonetheless an interesting book.