On June 14, 1940, German tanks rolled into a silent and deserted Paris. Eight days later, a humbled France accepted defeat along with foreign occupation. Yet Paris remained undamaged, and soon a peculiar kind of normalcy returned as theaters, opera houses, and nightclubs reopened for business. Alan Riding, longtime European cultural correspondent for the New York Times and resident of Paris, offers this probing on the role of artists and writers in an occupied country.
"Certainly one of the finest works of serious popular history since the heyday of Barbara Tuchman [author of The Guns of August].... Riding's triumph lies in refusing to affirm any simplistic answers. Instead, he plunges the reader into the French cultural scene of the 1930s and '40s and shows us how real men and real women dealt with the devil."—Washington Post