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Taking Paris: The Epic Battle for the City of Lights

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From Martin Dugard, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Killing series with Bill O'Reilly, comes the spellbinding story of the Allied liberation of Paris from the grip of the Nazis during World War II May 1940: The world is stunned as Hitler's forces invade France with a devastating blitzkrieg aimed at Paris. Within weeks, the French government has collapsed, From Martin Dugard, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Killing series with Bill O'Reilly, comes the spellbinding story of the Allied liberation of Paris from the grip of the Nazis during World War II May 1940: The world is stunned as Hitler's forces invade France with a devastating blitzkrieg aimed at Paris. Within weeks, the French government has collapsed, and the City of Lights, revered for its carefree lifestyle, intellectual freedom, and love of liberty, has fallen under Nazi control--perhaps forever. As the Germans ruthlessly crush all opposition, a patriotic band of Parisians known as the Resistance secretly rise up to fight back. But these young men and woman cannot do it alone. Over 120,000 Parisians die under German occupation. Countless more are tortured in the city's Gestapo prisons and sent to death camps. The longer the Nazis hold the city, the greater the danger its citizens face. As the armies of America and Great Britain prepare to launch the greatest invasion in history, the spies of the Resistance risk all to ensure the Germans are defeated and Paris is once again free. The players holding the fate of Paris in their hands are some of the biggest historical figures of the era: Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, General George S. Patton, and the exiled French general Charles de Gaulle, headquartered in London's Connaught Hotel. From the fall of Paris in 1940 to the race for Paris in 1944, this riveting, page-turning drama unfolds through their decisions--for better and worse. Taking Paris is history told at a breathtaking pace, a sprawling yet intimate saga of heroism, desire, and personal sacrifice for all that is right.


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From Martin Dugard, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Killing series with Bill O'Reilly, comes the spellbinding story of the Allied liberation of Paris from the grip of the Nazis during World War II May 1940: The world is stunned as Hitler's forces invade France with a devastating blitzkrieg aimed at Paris. Within weeks, the French government has collapsed, From Martin Dugard, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Killing series with Bill O'Reilly, comes the spellbinding story of the Allied liberation of Paris from the grip of the Nazis during World War II May 1940: The world is stunned as Hitler's forces invade France with a devastating blitzkrieg aimed at Paris. Within weeks, the French government has collapsed, and the City of Lights, revered for its carefree lifestyle, intellectual freedom, and love of liberty, has fallen under Nazi control--perhaps forever. As the Germans ruthlessly crush all opposition, a patriotic band of Parisians known as the Resistance secretly rise up to fight back. But these young men and woman cannot do it alone. Over 120,000 Parisians die under German occupation. Countless more are tortured in the city's Gestapo prisons and sent to death camps. The longer the Nazis hold the city, the greater the danger its citizens face. As the armies of America and Great Britain prepare to launch the greatest invasion in history, the spies of the Resistance risk all to ensure the Germans are defeated and Paris is once again free. The players holding the fate of Paris in their hands are some of the biggest historical figures of the era: Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, General George S. Patton, and the exiled French general Charles de Gaulle, headquartered in London's Connaught Hotel. From the fall of Paris in 1940 to the race for Paris in 1944, this riveting, page-turning drama unfolds through their decisions--for better and worse. Taking Paris is history told at a breathtaking pace, a sprawling yet intimate saga of heroism, desire, and personal sacrifice for all that is right.

30 review for Taking Paris: The Epic Battle for the City of Lights

  1. 5 out of 5

    Randal White

    I found this book to be a great addition to my knowledge of World War 2. This time, it is told through the eyes of the French. Dugard does a wonderful job of letting one see the effects of the war by telling it from the perspective of common citizens, international spies, and military leaders. A much easier, less technical read than most World War 2 books. Very good!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Huether

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The events of World War II and the taking back of Paris are so vividly written with such expertise . Churchill, Eisenhauer De Gaulle and Franklin Roosevelt, De Gaulle and Patton all have their parts in the battles and getting back to Paris. The book was written in such a way that the reader could feel the joy in the final liberation of Paris. 1940- 1944 I won this A R C book from Penguin Random House.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    As an avid reader of military histories and memoirs, especially those from WW2, I had thought that the story of the liberation of Paris had been told in a book “ Is Paris Burning” , and as a chapter of countless military histories on WW2. What more could be be there to say, I thought. But along comes “ Taking Paris” by Martin Dugard to prove me wrong. Mr. Dugard writes a fresh, informative and entertaining popular history that should have wide appeal. He accomplishes it by writing in a “ Your A As an avid reader of military histories and memoirs, especially those from WW2, I had thought that the story of the liberation of Paris had been told in a book “ Is Paris Burning” , and as a chapter of countless military histories on WW2. What more could be be there to say, I thought. But along comes “ Taking Paris” by Martin Dugard to prove me wrong. Mr. Dugard writes a fresh, informative and entertaining popular history that should have wide appeal. He accomplishes it by writing in a “ Your Are There” present - tense sort of style, making the reader a witness to events great and small involving people whose names fill histories and biographies and unknown others who also fought, alone, inside occupied France. Example: one may think as I did despite all my reading, that when the Germans attacked France in 1940 that the entire French army collapsed in front of the Panzers like a soggy croissant. One unit did not. Led by Col. Charles DeGaulle, the French 4th Division not only stopped the Germans, they pushed them back in fierce fighting. Even when the politicians and generals surrendered, DeGaulle fought on. His story is featured in “ Taking Paris” as a man whose stubborn pride overcame all obstacles until the day he entered the liberated city. There were other French soldiers who fought on. An example of a person whose story is told in the book is Virginia Hall. Known by many names, using many disguises, she survived the war years living under the Germans’ noses as a spy, gathering information and transmitting it back,maintains a spy cadre, and exfiltrating downed flyers , all the while the Gestapo searched for the woman with the noticeable limp ( she had a wooden leg from a hunting accident.) The author’s tale of her escape over the Pyrenees to Spain is thrilling to read. These personal stories and many more are what make “ Taking Paris” worth the reader’s time. It is the best sort of popular history writing. The novel is factually correct with interesting details, without overwhelming the reader with arcane statistics . With the compelling personal stories it has appeal for everyone. The reader comes to know through clear vignettes the dangerous lives of men and women who fought their brutal occupiers. The clash of wills between the FDR, Churchill and DeGaulle is fascinating reading. There are maps and footnotes. There were no photos, but this was an advanced reader copy, they may be in the final book. Summing up: a good book, very well presented .Even those who do not usually read history will enjoy “ Taking Paris”. My thanks to Net Galley for the ARC

  4. 5 out of 5

    William Harris

    I recently completed my reading of Martin Dugard's latest popular history, entitled "Taking Paris" provided to me as an ARC by Penguin (it will be published under the Dutton Caliber imprint). Many of you will have some familiarity with Dugard's work through his lucrative collaboration with Bill O'Reilly on the "Killing" series of books that have become staples on best seller lists. The first thing that struck me about this book is that its style is largely anecdotal and filled with the trivial d I recently completed my reading of Martin Dugard's latest popular history, entitled "Taking Paris" provided to me as an ARC by Penguin (it will be published under the Dutton Caliber imprint). Many of you will have some familiarity with Dugard's work through his lucrative collaboration with Bill O'Reilly on the "Killing" series of books that have become staples on best seller lists. The first thing that struck me about this book is that its style is largely anecdotal and filled with the trivial details that often give us a taste for the past (hence the term "popular history"). Initially, this put me off as I am well versed in military history and was hoping for considerably more depth; however, Dugard's narrative mastery is so pronounced that he quickly won me over. Keep in mind that the title is a bit misleading. The book is not exclusively about the Allies' "liberation" of Paris in 1944 (a conclusion I had, not unreasonably jumped to as a consequence of the title), but uses the City of Paris and its troubled martyrdom during the Second World War as a focal point to concentrate on the fate of France during that titanic struggle. This allows the author to introduce many characters familiar to students of the period, people like the leaders of the Free French and their rivals as well as the German, British and American military and political figures who figured prominently in the struggle for France from the tragic failures of 1940 to the successful invasion of 1944 (and everything in between). Obviously, given the events Dugard has chosen to focus on, there is no possibility of an in-depth exploration of often incredibly complex issues. That said, however, this is a marvelous primer of sorts. I recommend it to all those looking to fill in gaps in their own knowledge and most especially for young readers who are unlikely to be well versed in the events and thematic concerns Dugard is exploring. It would make a superb Christmas or Birthday gift for young people fascinated by history, particularly twentieth century history.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. A history of the fighting over Paris during WWII. It is very much in the Bill O'Reilly style. There were some good parts, but not really a serious history. I won this book in a goodreads drawing. A history of the fighting over Paris during WWII. It is very much in the Bill O'Reilly style. There were some good parts, but not really a serious history.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robert Holt

    Much like his other books (with and without Bill O'Reilly), Dugard is able to provide an in-depth look at history without simply spouting dates and numbers. It's a behind-the-scenes look, and one gets a feeling that we could actually be in the room when history is made. Highly recommended for those interested in our history. Much like his other books (with and without Bill O'Reilly), Dugard is able to provide an in-depth look at history without simply spouting dates and numbers. It's a behind-the-scenes look, and one gets a feeling that we could actually be in the room when history is made. Highly recommended for those interested in our history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Martin Dugard has written an accessible, easy to read piece of popular history with Taking Paris. This is the first of his books that I have read so I was previously unfamiliar with his writing style. I can see how his books appeal to a wide range of readers. The brief chapters kept me engaged, and he has a nice way of building suspense, particularly for those without a lot of prior knowledge of the events. I have read quite a few books about WWII but thoroughly enjoyed this format - taking one Martin Dugard has written an accessible, easy to read piece of popular history with Taking Paris. This is the first of his books that I have read so I was previously unfamiliar with his writing style. I can see how his books appeal to a wide range of readers. The brief chapters kept me engaged, and he has a nice way of building suspense, particularly for those without a lot of prior knowledge of the events. I have read quite a few books about WWII but thoroughly enjoyed this format - taking one country and fleshing out its impact and importance in the context of the larger war. Favorites: * The descriptive words and phrases used throughout the book are outstanding in evoking the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of that period. * The book is much farther reaching than its title suggests. It isn't just about the transfer of Paris from the French to the Germans and back again. It traces the events throughout WWII that supported and led to its liberation. I learned new things, particularly about the North African campaign. * Masterly demonstration of how seemingly disparate events occurring in remote locations were interrelated and had far reaching implications. * I loved the sections on the making of the movie Casablanca. Not as enjoyable: * I hope that the final edition has some pictures in it, particularly of the people involved. * At times it felt that the prose edged too closely to melodrama. So this is not the book to read if you are more in search of factual information given without emotion. I received this book from the Goodreads Giveaways program in exchange for my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis Watson

    I won this book on Goodreads I would like to thank them as well as the author Martin Dugard for my Arc my very own copy thanks so much. I usually don't read this genre this was actually my first as well as my first from this particular author Martin Dugard and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how well I enjoyed this book. This is a story about the effects of World War ll told from the French and the perspective of the common people. I do like to learn new things about history and this st I won this book on Goodreads I would like to thank them as well as the author Martin Dugard for my Arc my very own copy thanks so much. I usually don't read this genre this was actually my first as well as my first from this particular author Martin Dugard and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how well I enjoyed this book. This is a story about the effects of World War ll told from the French and the perspective of the common people. I do like to learn new things about history and this story fed me alot of knowledge that I didn't know. I also appreciated the writing style of the author and will be looking into other books from the author. It was a great page turner I recommend anyone thats interested in World War and history to pick it up.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I’ve studied WWII through the years but primarily focused on spies or naval battles. I knew Paris played a pivotal role in the war but this book brought the whole story of why Paris and de Gaulle were so important. The book was easy to read and the story telling flowed like a novel. For me, a good history is one that has me ready to dig in and learn more and this book did just that. I look forward to reading more by this author and recommend this work to anyone looking to gain a better understan I’ve studied WWII through the years but primarily focused on spies or naval battles. I knew Paris played a pivotal role in the war but this book brought the whole story of why Paris and de Gaulle were so important. The book was easy to read and the story telling flowed like a novel. For me, a good history is one that has me ready to dig in and learn more and this book did just that. I look forward to reading more by this author and recommend this work to anyone looking to gain a better understanding of the European players. This review is left in exchange for an advanced copy of the book. The opinions expressed are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Brewer

    I feel compelled to start this review by saying I’m generally not a fan of non-fiction (unless it’s true crime!) and I’m certainly not a WWII buff but I really enjoyed this book. It read like fiction. I learned a lot while reading it and I appreciated the history. I also really enjoyed the scenes of France and Paris, it’s almost like I was there myself. I’d recommend this book for anyone interested in travel or Paris/France, not just those interested in history or WWII.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This is a breezy recounting of the four year battle to retake Paris. The tense n which it is written takes some getting used to. There are some interesting insights and brief looks at members of the French Resistance who fought valiantly to restore their nation. The chapters are short, like Cliff Notes version of a momentous event, which by and large, left me wanting more. That said, it was worth the read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    A good history lesson and paired well with The Splendid and The Vile. I listened to this book- might have been better if I had read it. I was expecting an Eric Larsson style book (that was the billing on the cover) and the writing was not as captivating. Regardless, it was a history lesson.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janette

    Many "history" type books can be so detailed that the reader finds it hard to get through it all. Dugard writes this book in such a way that it feels like "fiction" rather than a history book. Loved the flow and extra details in the footnotes. Many "history" type books can be so detailed that the reader finds it hard to get through it all. Dugard writes this book in such a way that it feels like "fiction" rather than a history book. Loved the flow and extra details in the footnotes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jowat3cableone.Net watson

    i loved the other "killing" books. While i found this book to be interesting, it did not hold my attention. I found myself reading it in order to finish it. The historical facts are great - the flow is choppy. i loved the other "killing" books. While i found this book to be interesting, it did not hold my attention. I found myself reading it in order to finish it. The historical facts are great - the flow is choppy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sean Nollette

    One of the best books in the WWII genre I have ever read! Excellent story telling used by the author and a very interesting new take on the capture and subsequent liberation of France. Highly recommend!

  16. 4 out of 5

    G.

    If you are interested in learning about WWII military campaigns, than this is a book you should read. I enjoy Martin Dugard's books, especially "The Murder of King Tut" that he wrote with James Patterson. If you are interested in learning about WWII military campaigns, than this is a book you should read. I enjoy Martin Dugard's books, especially "The Murder of King Tut" that he wrote with James Patterson.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ron Baumer

    A great history novel relating the events regarding the fall and eventual recapturing of Paris in WW2. The first hand accounts and political insights added immensely to the story. A good book for the history enthusiast. Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Artie Monahan

    INTERESTING HISTORICAL NOVEL I enjoyed the wonderfully written history. I got some insight into events of WWII not often reported. I enjoyed this well written history book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Three words come to mind, I loved it. Thank you Mr. Dugard for your research. I was transported to a time that I didn’t know much about and places so foreign.

  20. 4 out of 5

    John Morgan

    Truly enjoyed. The writing reminds me a lot of the Killing books. Dugard must be the actual writer of those books.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bob Francati

    Excellent. One of the best I’ve read. It is truly a page turner delight. NEVER A DULL PAGE!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth Holbert

    Not what I thought it would be The only thing that was not discerned was the grass overly wordy without helping the story line, slot of in news art information

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bernard

    Well written but I was expecting far more stories about what was happening in Paris itself. The title in my view was misleading.

  24. 4 out of 5

    TL

    Won via goodreads giveaways all my opinions are my own:) ---

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bill Hendrick

    Great read finished in one night

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mary Nee

    I really enjoyed this book! I recommend this book for anyone interested in travel or Paris/France, not just those interested in history or WWII.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Haley

    A wonderful book! I've recently gotten into non-fiction in the past year, a genre I never would even glance at before. I always found non-fiction so boring. At at times even now when I read non-fiction books I still will have to put it down after a time because I can't take it any more. I usually have to push myself too finish it. This was no the case with this book! This book was fast paced at at times made you feel like the real historical figures had written parts of this book themselves. The A wonderful book! I've recently gotten into non-fiction in the past year, a genre I never would even glance at before. I always found non-fiction so boring. At at times even now when I read non-fiction books I still will have to put it down after a time because I can't take it any more. I usually have to push myself too finish it. This was no the case with this book! This book was fast paced at at times made you feel like the real historical figures had written parts of this book themselves. The best part was learning new facts about what actually happened back in WWII and having a better understanding of how some decisions were made (like leaving Paris). This book left me with a lot to think about and topics to delve into even more. Definitely a great history book especially for WWII fanatics. It's a great book even if you're not!!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    James Hogue

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Darren

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