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Extended Audio Sample Americans in Paris: Life and Death under Nazi Occupation Audiobook, by Charles Glass Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.28 out of 53.28 out of 53.28 out of 53.28 out of 53.28 out of 5 3.28 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Glass Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2010 ISBN: 9781455199617
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Acclaimed journalist Charles Glass looks to the American expatriate experience of Nazi-occupied Paris to reveal a fascinating forgotten history of the greatest generation.

In Americans in Paris, tales of adventure, intrigue, passion, deceit, and survival unfold season by season as renowned journalist Charles Glass tells the story of a remarkable cast of expatriates and their struggles in Nazi Paris. Before the Second World War began, approximately thirty thousand Americans lived in Paris, and when war broke out in 1939 almost five thousand remained. As citizens of a neutral nation, the Americans in Paris believed they had little to fear. They were wrong. Glass’ discovery of letters, diaries, war documents, and police files reveals as never before how Americans were trapped in a web of intrigue, collaboration, and courage.

Artists, writers, scientists, playboys, musicians, cultural mandarins, and ordinary businessmen—all were swept up in extraordinary circumstances and tested as few Americans before or since. These stories come together to create a unique portrait of an eccentric, original, and diverse American community.

Charles Glass has written an exciting, fast-paced, and elegant account of the moral contradictions faced by Americans in Paris during France’s dangerous occupation years. For four hard years, from the summer of 1940 until US troops liberated Paris in August 1944, Americans were intimately caught up in the city’s fate. Americans in Paris is an unforgettable tale of treachery by some, cowardice by others, and unparalleled bravery by a few.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A fascinating treat.”

    Telegraph (London)

  • “A vivid gallery of expatriates animates this chronicle of Paris during the Second World War. Drawing heavily on primary source material, Glass narrates the Nazi Occupation year by year, unfolding stories of resilience and despair…By focusing with exhaustive thoroughness on a relatively small group, Glass is able to capture the complex stories of ‘as diverse a collection of opposed beliefs and backgrounds as in any American metropolis.’”

    New Yorker

  • “Charles Glass handles this rich and complex material well…He never loses the reader’s attention.”

    Spectator

  • “Once upon a time, historians told stories about the brave and the cowardly, about heroes, villains, and the many whose lives lay somewhere in between. That’s what Glass…has done in this extraordinary narrative…This is outstanding popular history, well researched and told and never oversimplified. It’s difficult to conceive of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this exceptional book.”

    Library Journal

  • “The American community in Paris under Nazi occupation is a wonderful subject, and Glass tells its story admirably…Malcolm Hillgartner’s deep, rich voice presents the story with interest and without unnecessary drama. He avoids corny accents in his presentation of dialogue, and his pronunciations in French and German are careful and clear.”

    AudioFile

  • “Malcolm Hillgartner has a rich, melodious voice; he is also quite proficient in dealing with the French, German, and British accents as well as the French phrases sprinkled throughout. His fully voiced reading expresses the tension of this perilous time and reflects the changes in the characters’ lives.”

    SoundCommentary.com

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne Gass | 2/18/2014

    " A very good, and interesting, history of Americans who stayed in Paris during the Nazi occupation and what they did or did not do to resist the occupation. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mike | 2/17/2014

    " Some interesting events and people but reads like a scientific journal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret Sankey | 2/6/2014

    " For Americans who stayed in France in 1940, the next five years were a test of resourcefulness and character--from their privileged position as neutrals to internment as enemy aliens, Glass follows a broad spectrum of people--African-American Foreign Legionary Robert Anderson, Roosevelt in-law (and mother in law of Josee Laval) Clara Longworth de Chambrun, Dr. Sumner Jackson of the American Hospital, Ambassador William Bullitt, ambiguous businessman Charles Bedaux and Sylvia Beach of the bookstore Shakespeare and Co "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debra | 2/5/2014

    " A fabulous collection of individual's stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 L. | 1/16/2014

    " The reader must traverse the dry Desert of Yawn in order to reach the varied oases of Ooh, That's Interesting. Still, I always give an extra star to books that make me want to read more about something. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 1/12/2014

    " Very interesting read. It was interesting to see the different perspectives of Americans in Paris regarding what they thought was collaboration. I sided more with the resistance movement when reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nivair H. Gabriel | 1/3/2014

    " Not only am I actually reading a nonfiction history book, I'm having no trouble turning the pages like a madwoman and even tearing up with emotion. I'm pretty sure this might be the apocalypse. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelly | 12/24/2013

    " This read more like a text book than a book. Interesting premise, just too long and drawn out for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie Montecuollo | 12/4/2013

    " It was very interesting. All of these stories added a different perspective to the war, what it was like under the Nazi occupation (especially in Paris). I would definitely recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela | 10/29/2013

    " This was very readable history, but a lot to digest. Interesting aspects of the book included the logic of people supporting Vichy France, internment in the showcase camps, and the deprivation in Paris as well as dangers of friendly fire. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aley Martin | 10/9/2013

    " Well done compilation of the lives of a dozen or more people in Paris during the occupation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob Battle | 10/8/2013

    " Good read/I got a copy if you want to try it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mandy | 8/23/2013

    " Overall, I enjoyed the book- though certain areas were quite dry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 8/3/2013

    " Great concept; drug a bit in places. Loved everything about Dr. Sumner Jackson and the American Hospital. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeffrey | 12/5/2012

    " Book was very informative of that particular period in history in France. I rather enjoyed the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessie B. | 10/9/2012

    " An interesting snapshot of a turbulent time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eric | 8/19/2012

    " An overwhelmingly exhausting catalog of the minutiae of high society Americans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 7/22/2012

    " I seem to have a fascination with World War II stories lately. I found this fascinating. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 2/25/2012

    " I learned a lot from what I read of the book, but it moved too slowly to keep my interest. I may give it a try at another time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nivair | 6/22/2011

    " Not only am I actually reading a nonfiction history book, I'm having no trouble turning the pages like a madwoman and even tearing up with emotion. I'm pretty sure this might be the apocalypse. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob | 3/28/2011

    " Good read/I got a copy if you want to try it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jayme | 3/22/2011

    " An alternative perspective about WWII Paris. I read this before going to Paris, and it greatly informed my understanding of the city and its famous landmarks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mamama | 12/14/2010

    " Great stories / very difficult to read...stick with and get through.
    Full of fascinating facts, though.
    I would recommend it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eric | 12/5/2010

    " An overwhelmingly exhausting catalog of the minutiae of high society Americans. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mandy | 11/30/2010

    " Overall, I enjoyed the book- though certain areas were quite dry. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 MaryBeth | 4/6/2010

    " Can't say I really liked the book, theough the premise looked interesting. There were some interesting bits, might be worth it for some... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzanne | 3/29/2010

    " This was an engrossing and compelling story of an assortment of Americans in Paris during WW2. It really brings you in to what Paris was like then---almost incomprehensible to those of us who have only been there in recent times. Sobering. Puts faces on history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Squeaktooth | 3/16/2010

    " on page 109- love this era- love sylvia beach-is late now will go curl up with diet coke cat and said book warmenough to lie with windows open a perfect night por moi bon nuit! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelly | 2/22/2010

    " This read more like a text book than a book. Interesting premise, just too long and drawn out for me. "

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About the Author

Charles Glass is the author of Tribes with Flags, Money for Old Rope, and The Northern Front. A world-famous journalist, he was the chief Middle East correspondent for ABC News and has covered wars in Lebanon, Eritrea, Rhodesia, Somalia, Iraq, Egypt, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. His writing appears in Harper’s, the Independent, and the Spectator.

About the Narrator

Malcolm Hillgartner is an actor, author, playwright, and professional narrator. Under the name Jahnna N. Malcolm, he and his wife, Jahnna Beecham, have written over one hundred books for young readers; their musicals have played in theaters across America. His audiobook credits include works by Dean Koontz, Nelson Algren, and William F. Buckley Jr.