Paris Bookshops

Paris’s identity is deeply rooted in the fact that it is a literary city. Since the days of Villon and Du Beslay, the art of the word has had a special place in this city.

The craft of writing benefits from a special aura here, a spirit that has fostered the development of generations of French talent and attracted wave after wave of foreigners.

This in turn has led the city to be particularly frequently and fondly treated in the world of letters, which has helped to forge the extraordinarily unique and powerful collective unconscious of what Paris represents, to further the myth of this Parnassus on the Seine.

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The Cities We Leave to Future Generations

After a period of spurning our cities, we are again becoming an urban nation.

For years, investments in highways, malls, and residential developments were focused on the suburbs. The infrastructure of America’s great historical cities, so often mired in fiscal difficulty, was left to decay.

Today we are seeing a resurgence of the urban spirit. We have woken again to the social benefits of city life. We appreciate the exchange and innovation, the cultural vibrancy, and the economic and environmental benefits of compact living. Large-scale development projects are underway in the city centers and city governments are again spending on urban infrastructure.

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The Unveiling of the New Place de la République

I described in a previous post how the place de la République has been a 150-year urban design headache. So when I visited the space on the day of its opening, after nearly two years of construction, what I wanted to know was if the urban design conundrum had finally been solved.

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Paris Reborn Map

To accompany the reading of Paris Reborn, this annotated map shows the location of the streets, squares, parks and buildings created during the Second Empire transformation of Paris (1848-1870). Click on any item for more information or zoom for a better view. If you click through to the Google Maps page you can also scroll down the left to see the list of places.

View Paris Reborn in a larger map

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Paris’s Future Governance – An Interview with Pierre Mansat

As Paris’s Deputy Mayor in charge of “Paris Métropole” and relations with the region’s other local governments, Pierre Mansat is at the center of the debate regarding Paris’s governance.

I had a chance to sit down with him and discuss the historic changes underway following the Prime Minister’s announcement last month of the creation of a new metropolitan entity for Paris.

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La gouvernance de Paris – Entretien avec Pierre Mansat

En tant qu’adjoint au Maire de Paris chargé de “Paris métropole” et des relations avec les collectivités territoriales d’Ile-de-France, Pierre Mansat est un acteur privilégié du débat sur la gouvernance de la métropole parisienne.

Pierre Mansat répond ici à mes questions sur les changements historiques en perspective suite à l’annonce le mois dernier par le premier ministre de la création d’une entité métropolitaine pour Paris.

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Paris Reborn in The Washington Post

WP Logo“[Kirkland] clearly knows Paris intimately, writes lucid and engaging prose, and is both spirited in his advocacy of Napoleon III and clear-eyed about how he was able to do what he did.


While it is an immense pleasure to accompany him as he leads us through the planning and building of the great boulevards, the construction of the Opera House and the reconstruction of the Louvre, it is also sobering to realize that in the process of gaining much, Paris lost much as well, in particular medieval neighborhoods that had profoundly influenced the city’s character.”

Read the full review on the Washington Post web site.

Author site for Stephane Kirkland