Is Paris Burning?

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A historical narrative of the liberation of Paris in 1944

Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today we'll unlock the book Is Paris Burning?

Paris is a famous city of fashion, art, culture, and romance. When it comes to Paris, many people will think of its famous buildings: Notre Dame de Paris, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower, which are all must-see sites of interest. But did you know we almost lost the chance forever to see these beautiful places?

In the early days of World War II, Hitler swept across Europe and quickly occupied Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, and other countries. In June 1940, he conquered Paris, the principal city in France. From then on, Paris was under German occupation. It wasn't until 1944, when Allied forces landed in Normandy, that Parisians saw their hopes for liberation realized. However, Hitler had fallen into madness, demanding that his troops defend Paris at all costs, even to the last man. Meanwhile, Hitler had made up his mind to implement a "scorched-earth policy" in Paris. He issued orders for planting explosives in various places of importance in the city. If Paris had fallen, he would have detonated all the bombs to reduce Paris to a pile of ruins. Furthermore, forces both inside and outside of Paris were hostile towards one another and always in conflict. At that time, Paris continually faced the threat of destruction.

"Is Paris burning?" was a question that Hitler bitterly put to his Chief of the General Staff on the day of the liberation of Paris on August 25, 1944. So, how did Paris escape the fate of being burnt to the ground? This audio issue will explain the story to you in detail.

The book was co-written by Larry Collins, correspondent of Newsweek, and Dominique Lapierre, correspondent of Paris Match. Both authors fully made use of their expertise and spent three years gathering material from various sources. They interviewed over 800 people, from aides of Eisenhower and de Gaulle to ordinary soldiers and citizens, and they used personal experiences from 536 of them. Consequently, the vivid language and well-documented historical sources show that every event in the book has its basis in fact. Also, we can track the whereabouts of every person and source in each sentence of the book. The authors used vivid writing to reveal the overall process of Paris’s liberation.

Next, I'll explain to you the three sections in detail:

Part One: How Paris faced the threat of war’s destruction

Part Two: The struggles of Parisians, underground activities of Communists and Gaullists

Part Three: The liberation of Paris

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