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The Other Paris

Nonfiction: Social Science
Unabridged   11.25 hour(s)
Publication date: 10/27/2015

The Other Paris

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781622319244
Digital Download ISBN:9781622319251


Paris, the City of Light. The city of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, of soft cheese and fresh baguettes. Or so tourist brochures would have you believe. In The Other Paris: The People's City, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Luc Sante reveals the city's hidden past, its seamy underside, one populated by working and criminal classes that, though virtually extinct today, have shaped Paris over the past two centuries.

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Product Description

Drawing on testimony from a great range of witnesses, from Balzac and Hugo to assorted boulevardiers, rabble-rousers, and tramps, Sante, whose thorough research is matched only by the vividness of his narration, takes the reader on a whirlwind tour. Richly illustrated with more than three hundred images, The Other Paris scuttles through the knotted streets of pre-Haussmann Paris; through the improvised accommodations of the original bohemians; through the massive garbage dump at Montfaucon, active until 1849, in which, at any given time the carcasses of 12,000 horses . . . were left to rot.
A wildly lively survey of labor conditions, prostitution, drinking, crime, and popular entertainment, of the reporters, raliste singers, pamphleteers, and poets who chronicled their evolution, The Other Paris is a book meant to upend the story of the French capital, to reclaim the city from the bon vivants and the speculators, and to hold a light to the works and days of the forgotten poor.


"A tour-de-force . . . [Sante] has a novelist's eye for detail and an aesthete's taste for anecdotes . . . Low Life is unquestionably a book that can be read for instruction about New York as well as for pleasure."—David Rieff, The Times Literary Supplement
"Fascinating . . . We should all be grateful to Luc Sante [for] this entertaining and sobering history of New York's dark side . . . [Low Life] delights the reader with constant felicities . . . Replete not only with wit, but with feeling." —Jim Holt, The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Sante has dug up an astonishing amount of material and his sympathy for the people [this book] describes is genuine . . . Instructive and lively . . . Informative and amusing."—The Washington Post Book World
"A cacophonous poem of democracy and greed, like the streets of New York themselves . . . [Offers both] praise for a lost New York and an essential mine of information . . . It ferrets out some of the city's darker secrets, ones that our 19th-century ancestors often found unmentionable."—John Vernon, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Low Life captures the rollicking atmosphere of city life . . . Sante reclaims an essential piece of the city's past."—Hanna Rubin, The New York Times Book Review
"An enthusiastic chronicle of the years between 1840 and 1919 . . . This is a boisterous, unglamorous period largely lost to collective memory, and Sante takes much pleasure in identifying its remains. History in his subject is obvious, as is the thoroughness of his research. Sante [is] a bookworm and an outsider, and proud of it."—Sally S. Eckhoff, The Village Voice Literary Supplement
"Wonderful . . . [An] unusual, nostalgia-free inquiry into those who started at the bottom and stayed there."—Joe Queenan, The Wall Street Journal
"A systematic, well-researched historical account of drinking, drugging, whoring, murder, corruption, vice and miscellaneous mayhem in late-19th- and early-20th-century New York City . . . Well-crafted and rightly written."—Michael Winerip, The Boston Globe
"This highly original work reads like the reminiscence of a raconteur who knew every one, was there in the midst of it all himself and, even when telling stories of the deadliest dives on the Bowery, makes you wish you had been there too."—Michelle E. Hammer, Newsday
"Makes the stories of Edgar Allan Poe seem less the products of dark imaginings than efficient reportage . . . [Sante] strews his pages with fabulous bits of off beat erudition. Colorful, elegant, and witty . . . [,] Low Life, with its perfectly chosen anecdotes and austere, epigrammatic prose, is a superb work of social history. It deserves something stronger than conventional praise and a longer life than any of its protagonists enjoyed."—Patricia Storace, Cond Nast Traveler

Author Bio

Luc Sante was born in Verviers, Belgium. His other books include Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, and Kill All Your Darlings. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Grammy (for album notes), an Infinity Award for Writing from the International Center of Photography, and Guggenheim and Cullman fellowships. He has contributed to The New York Review of Books since 1981, and has written for many other magazines. He is the visiting professor of writing and the history of photography at Bard College and lives in Ulster County, New York.