Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Paris: Then and Now, by Peter and Oriel Caine

Peter and Oriel Caine, Paris: Then and Now. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 2003. 144 pages. ISBN 1592231365.

I found Paris: Then and Now in Ollie's Bargain Outlet, a store in State College, PA, that offers (among other items) a very small selection of books at bargain prices (this one was $3.99). It's a coffee table book that consists of photographs of most of the major sights in Paris. It juxtaposes older photographs on the left with a more recent photograph on the right. It's a really fun way to see how Paris has changed over the decades, and I enjoyed looking at photographs of many of the places that I visited during my one and only trip to Paris in 1979, when I was 15.

Each photograph in Paris: Then and Now includes a caption that describes a little something about the history of the site when the photograph was taken. The only odd thing that I noticed, and this isn't really a criticism, is that the older photographs are from a wide range of time periods. The older photograph of the Ministère de la Marine is from 1944, whereas the photograph of the Pont St. Michel is dated 1880. Presumably the contemporary photographs are all from the same time period, near the publication date of the book. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to take a historical tour through Paris. Beware, though; it will make you want to get your passport out!

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