Tag Archives: Is Paris Burning

The Tragic Notre Dame Fire Brought To Mind One Of My Favorite Books “Is Paris Burning?”

by Anura Guruge


Click to image to access the Amazon listing for this amazing book. Must read.


One of my favorite books. My adoptive father, an avid reader and author, who lived in Paris for nearly 20-years, told me about it in the 1970s. I read it. Loved it.

I invariably keep a couple of copies of it, at home, in case I want to give one to someone who I know will enjoy it.

So, on Monday, April 15, 2019, for obvious reasons, this book was much on my mind. It is ironic. The title of the book “Is Paris Burning?” is what Hitler supposedly asked his Generals as they were fleeing from Paris — the Allies rapidly bearing down on the City. Hitler wanted Paris burned. His Generals disregarded his orders!

So, what Hitler failed to do …


After getting hooked on this book, I went onto this, by the same authors. I will confess I like ‘Freedom’ more than I do ‘Burning’, BUT they are both brilliant, compelling books.

Click to image to access the Amazon listing for this amazing book. Also a must read.


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by Anura Guruge

The NEW PBS Masterpiece Theatre “The Collection” Might Not Be Everybody’s Cup Of Tea.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read here. From PBS.org.


Click to access the PBS page for this new Masterpiece show.



It may be a tad too dark, intense and ‘adult in bits’ for some. Definitely not ‘Downton Abbey‘.

If you like that period, Paris, 1940s photography and some LUSCIOUS 2017 videography with the most vivid reds you are ever likely to see, this will appeal (though there may still be scenes that you might not appreciate).

Given all the time I have spent in Paris (which means that most of the places shown are familiar) and my familiarity with French/Paris history during and after WW II (much of it learnt from the excellent book “Is Paris Burning?“, I found it interesting. All loved the scenes of the American photographer using a Rolleiflex to take black-and-white images.

If you are into this stuff you might want to give it a try.


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by Anura Guruge

Paris, ‘City Of Lights’, Was Liberated From The Germans, During WW II, This Day 73-Years Ago! Hurrah! Hurrah!

by Anura Guruge



Yes, yes, yes. The glorious Liberation of Paris in 1944. Paris is dear to me and I knew it well. I lived in Paris for a year, 1968 – 1969, and my adoptive parents lived there again from 1978 to 1992.

Yes, it was spearheaded by U.S. General George Patton’s famed US Third Army. The ‘battle for Paris’ started on August 19, 1944. By the 24th of August there were other divisions including a French division made up mainly of Spanish exiles. The final surrender happened on August 25.

Have YOU read ‘Is Paris Burning?‘ That title comes from a question Hitler asked his commanding officer in Paris as the Germans were ingloriously withdrawing from the city. Hitler had ordered that Paris should be annihilated prior to the German departure. The Germans, to their credit, did not have the heart to do that!

This book, ‘Is Paris Burning?‘, was my adoptive father’s favorite book — which says something since he was a formidable author. He gave away copies of the book to anyone he liked — and he had a penchant for liking most people. So he was in constant need for large supplies of this book. During the time he lived in Paris one of my duties was to keep him supplied with copies of this book from the U.K. You really should read it.

Click to access Amazon listing (or one of the listings) for this great book.


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by Anura Guruge