Eric Hazan, author of the acclaimed The Invention of Paris, leads us by the hand in this walk from Ivry to Saint-Denis, passing such familiar landmarks as the Luxembourg Gardens, the Pompidou Centre, the Gare du Nord and Montmartre, as well as little-known alleyways and arcades. Filled with historical anecdotes, geographical observations and literary references, Hazan’s walk guides us through an unknown Paris. He shows us how, through planning and modernisation, the city’s revolutionary past has been erased in order to enforce a reactionary future; but by walking and observation, he shows us how we can regain our knowledge of the radical past of the city of Robespierre, the Commune, Sartre and the May ’68 uprising. And by drawing on his own life story, as surgeon, publisher and social critic, Hazan vividly illustrates a radical life lived in the city of revolution. Planning and modernization have accelerated the erasure of its revolutionary history, yet through walking and observation, Hazan shows how we can regain our knowledge of the city of Robespierre, the Commune, Sartre, and the May ’68 uprising. Drawing on his own life story, as surgeon, publisher and social critic, Hazan vividly illustrates the interplay and concord between a city and the personality it forms.
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