Get this audio book:

Learn More About
Find More Titles by
This Author: Joan DeJean
This Narrator: Robert Blumenfeld
This Publisher: Audible.com

How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City by Joan DeJean

How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City

by Joan DeJean

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
8 Hrs. 4 Min.


At the start of the 17th century, Paris was known for a few monuments, but it had not yet put its brand on urban space. Like many European cities, it was still emerging from its medieval past. But within a century, Paris would be transformed into the modern and mythic city we now know. Most people associate the signature characteristics of Paris with the 19th century.

Joan DeJean demonstrates that the Parisian model for urban space was in fact invented two centuries earlier, when the first full design for the French capital was implemented. During this period, Paris saw many changes: It became the first city to tear down its fortifications. A large-scale urban plan was created and executed, with organized streets and boulevards, modern bridges, sidewalks, and public parks. Venues opened for urban entertainment, from opera and ballet to another pastime invented in Paris, recreational shopping.

Parisians enjoyed the earliest street lighting and public transportation, even as theirs became Europe's first great walking city. A century of planned development made Paris beautiful and exciting.

It gave people reasons to be out in public as never before and as nowhere else. It gave Paris its modern identity as a place that people dreamed of seeing. As Joan DeJean shows us in this compelling portrait of a city in transition, by 1700 Paris had become the capital that would transform forever our conception of the city and of urban life.

People Who Liked How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City Also Liked These Titles:
  This Blue
by Aurelie Sheehan

  Nurse, Come You Here!
by Mary J. MacLeod