Paris: The Biography of a City

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From the Roman Emperor Julian, who waxed rhapsodic about Parisian wine and figs, to Henry Miller, who relished its seductive bohemia, Paris has been a perennial source of fascination for 2,000 years. In this definitive and illuminating history, Colin Jones walks us through the city that was a plague-infested charnel house during the Middle Ages, the bloody epicenter of the French Revolution, the muse of nineteenth-century Impressionist painters, and much more. Jones’s masterful narrative is enhanced by numerous photographs and feature boxes—on the Bastille or Josephine Baker, for instance—that complete a colorful and comprehensive portrait of a place that has endured Vikings, Black Death, and the Nazis to emerge as the heart of a resurgent Europe. This is a thrilling companion for history buffs and backpack, or armchair, travelers alike.
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About the author

Colin Jones is professor of history at the University of Warwick and the author of several works of history, including The Longman Companion to the French Revolution and The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon.
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Published on
Apr 4, 2006
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History / Europe / France
History / Modern / 20th Century
Travel / Europe / France
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You could be forgiven for thinking that the smile has no history; it has always been the same. However, just as different cultures in our own day have different rules about smiling, so did different societies in the past. In fact, amazing as it might seem, it was only in late eighteenth century France that western civilization discovered the art of the smile. In the 'Old Regime of Teeth' which prevailed in western Europe until then, smiling was quite literally frowned upon. Individuals were fatalistic about tooth loss, and their open mouths would often have been visually repulsive. Rules of conduct dating back to Antiquity disapproved of the opening of the mouth to express feelings in most social situations. Open and unrestrained smiling was associated with the impolite lower orders. In late eighteenth-century Paris, however, these age-old conventions changed, reflecting broader transformations in the way people expressed their feelings. This allowed the emergence of the modern smile par excellence: the open-mouthed smile which, while highlighting physical beauty and expressing individual identity, revealed white teeth. It was a transformation linked to changing patterns of politeness, new ideals of sensibility, shifts in styles of self-presentation - and, not least, the emergence of scientific dentistry. These changes seemed to usher in a revolution, a revolution in smiling. Yet if the French revolutionaries initially went about their business with a smile on their faces, the Reign of Terror soon wiped it off. Only in the twentieth century would the white-tooth smile re-emerge as an accepted model of self-presentation. In this entertaining, absorbing, and highly original work of cultural history, Colin Jones ranges from the history of art, literature, and culture to the history of science, medicine, and dentistry, to tell a unique and untold story about a facial expression at the heart of western civilization.
A fascinating analysis of the critical role commercial property investment played in the economic boom and bust during the global financial crisis

The unprecedented financial boom stretching from the mid-1990s through 2008 ultimately led to the deepest recession in modern times and one of the slowest economic recoveries in history. It also resulted in the emergence of the draconian austerity policies that have swept across Europe in recent years. Property Boom and Banking Bust offers an expert insight into the complex property market dynamics that contributed to the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 and its devastating economic consequences. It is the first book to focus on a woefully underreported dimension of the crisis, namely, the significant role that lending on commercial property development played in the crisis. Among other key topics, the authors explore the philosophical and behavioral factors that propelled irresponsible bank lending and the property boom; how it led to the downfall of the banks; the impact of the credit crunch on the real estate industry generally in the wake of the financial crisis; the catastrophic effects the property bust had on property investors, both large and small; and how the financial institutions have sought to recover in the wake of the financial crisis.

Provides valuable insights into what happened in previous booms and busts, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, and how they compare with the most recent one Offers an expert assessment of the consequences of the global financial crisis for the banking system and the commercial property industry Examines strategies banks have used to recover their positions and manage the overhang of indebtedness and bad property assets Addresses strategies the real estate industry have used to recover from the collapse in property values

Written in an accessible style, and featuring numerous insider case accounts from property bankers, Property Boom and Banking Bust disentangles the complex, tightly-woven factors that led to the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, while offering powerful lessons for property industry professionals on how to avoid having history repeat itself.

This is the first book that looks at how offices and office markets in cities have changed over the last 30 years. It analyses the long-term trends and processes within office markets, and the interaction with the spatial economy and the planning of cities. It draws on examples around the world, and looking forward at the future consequences of information communication technologies and the sustainability agenda, it sets out the challenges that now face investors.

The traditional business centres of cities are losing their dominance to the brash new centres of the 1980s and 1990s, as the concept of the central business district becomes more diffuse.  Edge cities, business space and office parks have entered the vocabulary as offices have also decentralised.  The nature and pace of changes to office markets set within evolving spatial structures of cities has had implications for tenants and led to a demand for shorter leases. The consequence is a rethink of the traditional perception of property investment as a secure long term investment, and this is reflected in reduced investment holding periods by financial institutions.   

Office Markets & Public Policy analyses these processes and policy issues from an international perspective and covers:

A descriptive and theoretical base encompassing an historical context, a review of the fundamentals of the demand for and supply of the office market and offices as an investment.  Embedded within this section is a perspective on underlying forces particularly the influence of technological change. A synthesis of our understanding of the spatial structure and dynamics of local office markets at the city level. An assessment of the goals and influence of planning policies, and the evaluation of policies designed toward the long term sustainability of cities as services centres.  

This goes beyond standard real estate and urban economics books by assessing the changing shape of urban office markets within a spatial theoretical and policy context. It will be a useful advanced text for honours and postgraduate students of land economy; land management; property and real estate; urban planning; and urban studies. It will also be of interest to researchers, property professionals, policy-makers and planning practitioners.

The CityForm consortium’s latest book, Dimensions of the Sustainable City, is the first book to report on an empirical multi-disciplinary study specifically designed to address urban sustainability. Drawing together the various dimensions of sustainability – economic, social, transport, energy and ecological – the book examines their relationships both to each other and to urban form.

The book investigates the sustainability dimensions of cities through a series of projects based on a common list of elements of urban form, and which draw on the consortium’s latest research to review the sustainability issues of each dimension. The elements of urban form include density, land use, location, accessibility, transport infrastructure and characteristics of the built environment. The book also addresses issues such as adapting cities, psychological and ecological benefits of green space and sustainable lifestyles, each presenting a critical review of the relevant literature followed by an empirical analysis presenting the key results.

Based on studies across five UK cities, the book draws out findings of relevance to sustainable cities worldwide. As well as an invaluable reference to researchers in sustainable planning and urban design, the book will provide a useful text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses and for policy makers dealing with these issues.

The CityForm consortium is a multi-disciplinary group of researchers from five universities funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council from 2003-07.

Housing systems in many countries are now more market-oriented than ever before. This is particularly true of the UK, where there is heightened interest in the ability of the market to deliver new housing, as well as considerable debate among housing academics and policy makers over the extent to which policy instruments can be used to steer market processes. This increased market orientation means a greater understanding of market economics is needed.

The challenges of providing affordable housing, while simultaneously addressing the problems of low demand housing in some areas, together with the revitalisation of neighbourhoods in need of renewal, also underline the need for a better understanding of the structure and operation of housing markets at local and neighbourhood level.

This timely contribution to the field addresses the main housing and planning policy challenges in the UK today. It does so by examining the structure and operation of the urban housing system and then exploring both conceptual and empirical analyses of the workings of the market. The authors then consider the lessons for policy makers, discussing the limitations of the policy framework and considering the strategies for integrating market information into the analysis undertaken in practice.

Housing Markets & Planning Policy is an invaluable advanced text for students of land economy, land management, urban planning, housing and urban studies. The authors provide a uniquely detailed analysis of an important policy area that builds on a strong theoretical basis drawn from housing economics. With the challenges posed by the instability of the housing market, it will be of particular interest to academic researchers, policy-makers and housing and planning practitioners.

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