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Paris became the diplomatic battleground in the opening stages of the Cold War. Against this volatile political backdrop, every aspect of life is portrayed: scores were settled with rough and uneven justice, black marketers grew rich on the misery of the population, and a growing number of intellectual luminaries and artists, including Hemingway, Beckett, Camus, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Cocteau, and Picasso, contributed new ideas and a renewed vitality to this extraordinary moment in time.
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By DanBudda on 07-27-16
Don't worry about the French words you don't understand. They are used in context and if you just listen you will hear the English word in your head. After all , most English words were French or German first. I speak no French but did not find this to be an issue. Also, the criticism that gossip is sprinkled throughout is off base. Usually, but not always, the gossip helps illuminate the the point. I found it interesting that it was well known that our ambassador to France was married and also had a longstanding male lover, yet was very effective as our representative. Some of the info on who wore what to where was used to illustrate how the French fashion industry revived itself after the war. Gossip maybe, but interesting. The French are different from Americans since we tend to be more German in temperament. Wait until you hear about how powerful the communists were in France during and after the war and how they nearly won power. Spooky stuff. Overall, very interesting history touching on the Berlin airlift, the Marshall Plan, etc. Even the use of the word "plan" meant something very different to the French. Stay relaxed and just let the story unwind. Forget about all of the French names. The important ones reappear often enough for understanding. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful