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Modernizing Paris

Seminar Questions

  • What was Haussmannization?

  • How successfully did Haussmann modernize Paris? What was its legacy?

  • How did contemporaries view Haussmannization?

  • Was Paris the capital of modernity?

 Core reading:

  • Finish Balzac, Père Goriot
  • M. Gandy, ‘The Paris Sewers and the Rationalization of Urban Space,’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 24 (1999), 23-44 [electronic]

  • D Jordan, ‘Haussmann and Haussmannisation: The Legacy for Paris ,’ French Historical Studies 27 (2004), 87-113 [electronic]

  • Walter Benjamin, ‘Paris: Capital of the Nineteenth Century,’ Perspecta 12 (1969), 163-72 [electronic]

  • Background: Popkin, History of Modern France, chps. 15-16.

Maps and images of 19th Century Paris, complied by Brown University:


  • D Harvey, Paris: Capital of Modernity (2006)
  • C Jones, Paris: Biography of a City (2004), chaps 7-10
  • P Higonnet, Paris: Capital of the World (2002)
  • R Burton, Blood in the City: Violence and Revelation in Paris, 1789-1945 (2001), esp chap 10
  • R Clark, Threading the Maze: Nineteenth-Century Guides for British Travellers to Paris in M Sheringham (ed) Parisian Fields (1996)
  • C Rearick, Paris Dreams, Paris Memories: The City and Its Mystique ( 2011)

Haussmannization and Urban Transformation

  • S Marcus, ‘Haussmannization as Anti-Modernity: The Apartment House in Parisian Urban Discourse, 1850-1880, Journal of Urban History 27:6 (2001), 723-745
  • D Harvey, Consciousness and the Urban Experience (1985)
  • R Gould, Insurgent Identities: Class, Community and Protest in Paris from 1848 to the Commune (1995)
  • D van Zanten, Building Paris: Architectural Institutions and the Transformation of the French Capital (1994)
  • D Jordan, Transforming Paris : The Life and Labors of Baron Haussmann (1995)
  • D. H. Pinkney, Napoleon III and the Rebuilding of Paris (1958)
  • A Sutcliffe, The Autumn of Central Paris: The Defeat of Town Planning 1850-1970 (1970)
  • N Evenson, Paris: Century of Change 1878-1978 (1979)
  • P Higonnet, Paris: Capital of the World (2002)
  • R. Hopkins, 'Sauvons le Luxembourg: Urban Greenspace as Private Domain and Public Battleground, 1865-1867,' Journal of Urban History (2011)
  • F Loyer, Paris: Nineteenth Century: Architecture and Urbanism (1988)
  • D Pinkney, 'Napoleon III's Transformation of Paris,' The Journal of Modern History 27:2 (1955), 125-134
  • D Pinkney, 'Money and Politics in the Rebuilsing of Paris, 1860-70,' The Journal of Economic History 17:1. (1957) 45-61
  • S Marcus, Apartment Stories: City and Home in Nineteenth Century Paris and London (1999)
  • S Barles and L Lestel, ‘The Nitrogen Question: Urbanization, Industrialization, and River Quality in Paris , 1830-1939,’ Journal of Urban History 33:5 (2007), 794-812
  • J-B Fressoz, ‘The Gas Lighting Controversy: Technological Risk, Expertise, and Regulation in Nineteenth-Century Paris and London ,’ Journal of Urban History 33:5 (2007), 729-755
  • M Choko, ‘Investment or Family Home? Housing Ownership in Paris at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,’ Journal of Urban History 23:5 (1997), 531-68
  • L Jenkins, Utopianism and Urban Change in Perreymond’s Plans for the Rebuilding of Paris,’ Journal of Historical Geography 32 (2006), 336-51
  • V Thompson' 'Urban Renovation, Moral Regeneration: Domesticating the Halles in Second-Empire Paris,' French Historical Studies 20:1 (1997), 87-109
  • D Barnes, The Great Stink of Paris and the Nineteenth Century Struggle against Filth and Germs (2006)
  • A-L Shapiro, Housing the Poor of Paris, 1850-1902 (1985)

Modernism and Parisian Culture

  • J Seigel, Bohemian Paris (1986)
  • R Burton, The flaneur and his city: Patterns of Daily Life in Paris , 1815-1851 (1994)
  • V Schwartz, Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Paris (1999)
  • K Kete, Beast in the Boudoir (1994)
  • M Gluck, Popular Bohemia : Modernism and Urban Culture in Nineteenth Century Paris (2005)
  • G Weisberg (ed) Montmatre and the Making of Mass Culture (2001)
  • T Cusack, 'Bourgeois Leisure on the Seine: Impressionism, Forgetting and National Identity in the French Third Republic ,' National Identities 9 (2007), 163-82
  • R Thomson et al (eds), Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre (2005)