France - History
City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris
City of Light, City of Poison
Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris
Paperback      ISBN: 0393355438

In the late 1600s, Louis XIV assigns Nicolas de la Reynie to bring order to Paris after the brutal deaths of two magistrates. Reynie, pragmatic and fearless, discovers a network of witches, poisoners, and priests whose reach extends all the way to the king's court at Versailles. Based on court transcripts and Reynie's compulsive note-taking, Holly Tucker's engrossing true-crime narrative makes the characters breathe on the page as she follows the police chief into the dark labyrinths of crime-ridden Paris, the halls of royal palaces, secret courtrooms, and torture chambers.

Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation
Americans in Paris
Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation
Paperback      ISBN: 0143118668
An unforgettable portrait of Paris and Vichy France during the Nazi occupation

Americans in Paris
recounts tales of adventure, intrigue, passion, deceit, and survival under the brutal Nazi occupation through the eyes of the Americans who lived through it all. Renowned journalist Charles Glass tells the story of a remarkable cast of five thousand expatriates--artists, writers, scientists, playboys, musicians, cultural mandarins, and ordinary businessmen--and their struggles in Nazi Paris. Glass's discovery of letters, diaries, war documents, and police files reveals as never before how Americans were trapped in a web of intrigue, collaboration, and courage.
La Belle France: A Short History
La Belle France
A Short History
Paperback      ISBN: 1400034876

"A useful and charming introduction to a nation that has oh-so-definitely helped make the modern world what it is... Horne does a service in helping the reading navigate the complexities of French history." --Los Angeles Times

From the aclaimed British historian and author of Seven Ages of Paris comes a sweeping, grand narrative written with all the verve, erudition, and vividness that are his hallmarks. It recounts the hugely absorbing story of the country that has contributed to the world so much talent, style, and political innovation.

Beginning with Julius Caesar's division of Gaul into three parts, Horne leads us through the ages from Charlemagne to Chirac, touring battlefields from the Hundred Years' War to Indochina and Algeria, and giving us luminous portraits of the nation's leaders, philosophers, writers, artists, and composers. This is a captivating, beautifully illustrated, and comprehensive yet concise history of France.

The Seine: The River That Made Paris
The Seine
The River That Made Paris
Hardcover      ISBN: 0393609359

Elaine Sciolino came to Paris as a young foreign correspondent and was seduced by a river. In The Seine, she tells the story of that river from its source on a remote plateau of Burgundy to the wide estuary where its waters meet the sea, and the cities, tributaries, islands, ports, and bridges in between.

Sciolino explores the Seine through its rich history and lively characters: a bargewoman, a riverbank bookseller, a houseboat dweller, a famous cinematographer known for capturing the river's light. She discovers the story of Sequana--the Gallo-Roman healing goddess who gave the Seine its name--and follows the river through Paris, where it determined the city's destiny and now snakes through all aspects of daily life. She patrols with river police, rows with a restorer of antique boats, sips champagne at a vineyard along the river, and even dares to go for a swim. She finds the Seine in art, literature, music, and movies from Renoir and Les Mis rables to Puccini and La La Land. Along the way, she reveals how the river that created Paris has touched her own life. A powerful afterword tells the dramatic story of how water from the depths of the Seine saved Notre-Dame from destruction during the devastating fire in April 2019.

A "storyteller at heart" (June Sawyers, Chicago Tribune) with a "sumptuous eye for detail" (Sinclair McKay, Daily Telegraph), Sciolino braids memoir, travelogue, and history through the Seine's winding route. The Seine offers a love letter to Paris and the most romantic river in the world, and invites readers to explore its magic for themselves.

Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Paperback      ISBN: 0385338457
Is the traditional, accepted view of the life of Christ in some way incomplete?

- Is it possible Christ did not die on the cross?
- Is it possible Jesus was married, a father, and that his bloodline still exists?
- Is it possible that parchments found in the South of France a century ago reveal one of the best-kept secrets of Christendom?
- Is it possible that these parchments contain the very heart of the mystery of the Holy Grail?

According to the authors of this extraordinarily provocative, meticulously researched book, not only are these things possible -- they are probably true so revolutionary, so original, so convincing, that the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversey.

"Enough to seriously challenge many traditional Christian beliefs, if not alter them."
-- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Like Chariots of the Gods?...the plot has all the elements of an international thriller."
-- Newsweek
August 1914: France, the Great War, and a Month That Changed the World Forever
August 1914
France, the Great War, and a Month That Changed the World Forever
Hardcover      ISBN: 0300208278
A haunting portrait of France at war

On August 1, 1914, war erupted into the lives of millions of families across France. Most people thought the conflict would last just a few weeks.

Yet before the month was out, twenty-seven thousand French soldiers died on the single day of August 22 alone--the worst catastrophe in French military history. Refugees streamed into France as the German army advanced, spreading rumors that amplified still more the ordeal of war. Citizens of enemy countries who were living in France were viciously scapegoated. Drawing from diaries, personal correspondence, police reports, and government archives, Bruno Cabanes renders an intimate, narrative-driven study of the first weeks of World War I in France. Told from the perspective of ordinary women and men caught in the flood of mobilization, this revealing book deepens our understanding of the traumatic impact of war on soldiers and civilians alike.

August 1914 was a finalist for a prestigious French book award, the Prix F mina for nonfiction, in 2014.
The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris
The Hotel on Place Vendome
Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris
Paperback      ISBN: 0061791040

Set against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation of World War II, The H tel on Place Vend me is the captivating history of Paris's world-famous H tel Ritz--a breathtaking tale of glamour, opulence, and celebrity; dangerous liaisons, espionage, and resistance--from Tilar J. Manzeo, the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow Clicquot and The Secret of Chanel No. 5

When France fell to the Germans in June 1940, the legendary H tel Ritz on the Place Vend me--an icon of Paris frequented by film stars and celebrity writers, American heiresses and risqu flappers, playboys, and princes--was the only luxury hotel of its kind allowed in the occupied city by order of Adolf Hitler.

Tilar J. Mazzeo traces the history of this cultural landmark from its opening in fin de si cle Paris. At its center, The Hotel on Place Vend me is an extraordinary chronicle of life at the Ritz during wartime, when the H tel was simultaneously headquarters to the highest-ranking German officers, such as Reichsmarshal Hermann G ring, and home to exclusive patrons, including Coco Chanel. Mazzeo takes us into the grand palace's suites, bars, dining rooms, and wine cellars, revealing a hotbed of illicit affairs and deadly intrigue, as well as stunning acts of defiance and treachery.

Rich in detail, illustrated with black-and-white photos, The Hotel on Place Vend me is a remarkable look at this extraordinary crucible where the future of post-war France--and all of post-war Europe--was transformed.

--Bookreporter
The Liberation of Paris: How Eisenhower, de Gaulle, and Von Choltitz Saved the City of Light
The Liberation of Paris
How Eisenhower, de Gaulle, and Von Choltitz Saved the City of Light
Hardcover      ISBN: 1501164929
Prize-winning and bestselling historian Jean Edward Smith tells the "rousing" (Jay Winik, author of 1944) story of the liberation of Paris during World War II--a triumph achieved only through the remarkable efforts of Americans, French, and Germans, racing to save the city from destruction.

Following their breakout from Normandy in late June 1944, the Allies swept across northern France in pursuit of the German army. The Allies intended to bypass Paris and cross the Rhine into Germany, ending the war before winter set in. But as they advanced, local forces in Paris began their own liberation, defying the occupying German troops.

Charles de Gaulle, the leading figure of the Free French government, urged General Dwight Eisenhower to divert forces to liberate Paris. Eisenhower's advisers recommended otherwise, but Ike wanted to help position de Gaulle to lead France after the war. And both men were concerned about partisan conflict in Paris that could leave the communists in control of the city and the national government. Neither man knew that the German commandant, Dietrich von Choltitz, convinced that the war was lost, schemed to surrender the city to the Allies intact, defying Hitler's orders to leave it a burning ruin.

In The Liberation of Paris, Jean Edward Smith puts "one of the most moving moments in the history of the Second World War" (Michael Korda) in context, showing how the decision to free the city came at a heavy price: it slowed the Allied momentum and allowed the Germans to regroup. After the war German generals argued that Eisenhower's decision to enter Paris prolonged the war for another six months. Was Paris worth this price? Smith answers this question in a "brisk new recounting" that is "terse, authoritative, and] unsentimental" (The Washington Post).
Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War
Sleeping with the Enemy
Coco Chanel's Secret War
Paperback      ISBN: 0307475913

This explosive narrative reveals for the first time the shocking hidden years of Coco Chanel's life: her collaboration with the Nazis in Paris, her affair with a master spy, and her work for the German military intelligence service and Himmler's SS.

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was the high priestess of couture who created the look of the modern woman. By the 1920s she had amassed a fortune and went on to create an empire. But her life from 1941 to 1954 has long been shrouded in rumor and mystery, never clarified by Chanel or her many biographers. Hal Vaughan exposes the truth of her wartime collaboration and her long affair with the playboy Baron Hans G nther von Dincklage--who ran a spy ring and reported directly to Goebbels. Vaughan pieces together how Chanel became a Nazi agent, how she escaped arrest after the war and joined her lover in exile in Switzerland, and how--despite suspicions about her past--she was able to return to Paris at age seventy and rebuild the iconic House of Chanel.
The Bettencourt Affair: The World's Richest Woman and the Scandal That Rocked Paris
The Bettencourt Affair
The World's Richest Woman and the Scandal That Rocked Paris
Paperback      ISBN: 110198449x
An NPR Best Book of 2017

The Bettencourt Affair is part courtroom drama; part upstairs-downstairs tale; and part character-driven story of a complex, fascinating family and the intruder who nearly tore it apart.

At the time of her death at age ninety-four, in September 2017, Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L'Or al fortune, was the world's richest woman and the fourteenth wealthiest person. But her gilded life took a dark yet fascinating turn in the past decade, when she became embroiled in a scandal that dominated the headlines in France.

The Bettencourt Affair, as it came to be called, started as a family drama but quickly became a massive scandal, uncovering L'Or al's shadowy corporate history and buried World War II secrets. It all began when Liliane met Fran ois-Marie Banier, an artist and photographer who was, in his youth, the toast of Paris and a prot g of Salvador Dal . Over the next two decades, Banier was given hundreds of millions of dollars in gifts, cash, and insurance policies by Liliane. What, exactly, was their relationship? It wasn't clear, least of all to Liliane's daughter and only child, Fran oise, who became suspicious of Banier's motives and filed a lawsuit against him. But Banier has a far different story to tell. . . .