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Publisher's Summary

"Is Paris burning?" is the question Hitler asked over and over as the French Second and American Fourth Divisions battered their way into the city.

Few moments in history are as stirring as the Allied liberation of Paris. Yet few people are aware of how narrowly, and how miraculously, the city escaped Hitler's secret plan to reduce it to ashes. Is Paris Burning? reconstructs, in meticulous and riveting detail, the network of fateful events, day by day, moment by moment, that saved the City of Light.

Best-selling authors and renowned journalists Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre spent three years researching this stirring book. They drew on French Resistance radio messages, German military records, and secret correspondence between de Gaulle, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower. They tracked down and interviewed countless people: soldiers, civilians, Allied generals, and even the Nazi commandant who helped Paris fight for her life. And they re-created the drama, the fervor, and the triumph that heralded one of the most dramatic events of our time.

©1965 Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre; (P)1994 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Is Paris Burning? is researched with meticulous and riveting detail, well narrated, and certain to keep you intrigued." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • David
  • West Newton, MA, USA
  • 11-17-06

A Heartwarming Story

While I had seen the movie Many years ago - I had not read the book.
Good pace to the story and the narrator does a decent job with the multitude of accents of the participants.
Very moving when Paris is liberated and I found myself appreciative that there was some honor in the German officer corps.
Sad though with all the personal stories of loss -soldiers who didn't live to see the end result - citizens sent off to concentration camps at the very end.
All in all a great book

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ruth
  • Boerne, TX, USA
  • 03-25-08

Is Paris Burnning

I first read this book when it was published, and have since gone on to read other books from this author. For me it was a thrilling day by day account of the last days of German Occupation of Paris. It is a real "page turner" and I didn't want to miss a word. Books I enjoy this much I read over and sometimes over again. To find this on audible was a special treat. I highly recommend it to all.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eunice
  • Harrodsburg, KY, United States
  • 02-12-09

Interesting history

This book is worth the listen, but not a high priority. The underlying book is an interesting one, but the narration gets on the nerves after awhile. Every German sounds like Col. Klink from Hogan's Heroes...same voice, same inflection. It's hard to overlook after awhile!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robin
  • Columbus, GA, United States
  • 01-25-09

Is Paris Burning?

I decided to revisit this book after reading it decades ago and loving it then. I hoped it had held up over the years. It is STILL a fascinating, sweep-you-along, joyous, heartbreaking tale of the liberation of Paris. Better even the second time, when I could bring maturity to the book

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

An outstanding piece of history that I had missed

Although this book has been in print for 30 years, I had always assumed Paris was not destroyed because of a decision by Hitler to withdraw his troops, akin to the events in Prague. Perhaps it was my ignorance of the actual events (or was it the excellent narrative) that made this a delightful listening experience. Particularly fascinating was the relationship between the French and American military leadership and the most surprising was the collusion of the German general in charge of Paris with the Allies. Although I was initially put off by the formal British accent of the reader, it grew on me. A great story!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Brings liberation of Paris to life with detail and good writing.

I wanted to learn more about the French civilians, resistance fighters, and DeGualle's part in the liberation and not just the Allies part. I found the accounts well written with interesting details, including stories about the German occupiers and their fates. Chock full of fascinating details, so often I replayed chapters to garner more. If this period of history is of interest to you, you will surely enjoy this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • San Jose, CA United States
  • 08-06-15

Well done

I recently acquired the unabridged audiobook, after having the hardback languish on my shelves so long that I sold it to the used book store. Glad to have finally got to "read" this one. The book does a good job of introducing a good number of characters. Some of the figures are covered in less depth than others, despite probably being as interesting as LeClerc or any of the other major figures. Some minor participants have interesting highlights. This isn't a life altering book. It is an interesting look from a primarily French and German viewpoint on the Paris uprising and its eventual liberation by LeClerc's 2nd Armored.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Great background for travel to Paris/Normandy

Listened to this as part of a self-imposed history crash course before a trip to Paris. Great book, ageless. I had no clue until about midway thru it (when it occurred to me there is no way these people were still alive to interview) that it was written in the 60s. Couple of downsides - it was extremely hard to follow some of the segments via audio due to all the many players, no map - and my total lack of knowledge around anything related to the military. Also, the narrator was great at character voices, but left a lot to be desired everywhere else. Still very worth it, especially the last of the 3 parts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • MP
  • 11-17-12

An incredible story

It's hard to believe that that this book got written. Collins & Lapierre have left no stone unturned. Everyone, whether a big or a small player in this dramatic story, has been interviewed. As a result, the book is a gripping account not of just the big event - the liberation of Paris - but the hundreds of people involved and their emotions, actions and rationale during the days and weeks leading up to the Allied forces entering the city.

The reader is somewhat arch and this detracts somewhat from the story - but not very much and I wouldn't let that deter you. It's a wonderful tale that reads almost like a novel. And it's very intense.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Insight!

Great insight into the saving of Paris, the fates of war, the unseen factors that work for or against a nation.

Many factors, completely independent of each other, worked together at critical times to save Paris from certain destruction. This includes certain brave, courageous and long sighted individual that did at times conspire together.

This book documents that with great accuracy and a very easy timeline.

Also, the book has several interesting and poignant facts or stories that I have not heard anywhere else.

There is humor at times and more things that I found humor in that I am sure the authors didn't necessarily intend.

Well worth the listen!