November 2, 2011

Americans in Paris -- Charles Glass

Wars don't just happen at the front lines. They don't just happen at policy level with Kings and Presidents and Generals in the back office.

They also take place on the home-front.

Glass examines the home-front through the eyes of people who were out of place -- in Paris.

Through an exhaustive look at the world of Paris as lived by Americans during and just before the Nazi occupation, we get a different sense of the war than I have ever been presented. It is in depth, and we see how several Americans lived and survived the unique challenges. Some rose to the challenge, others did their best to survive. Their stories are here. They are many, and the lens of focus moves around so at times it is difficult to recenter the thread of the narrative. However the book unfolds in chronological time, so if you have a background of the history, it is easy to keep track of the temporal aspect. The book is interesting and novel, but maybe not necessary. Perhaps there are too many 'stars'. Perhaps there are too few.