• Taking Paris

  • The Epic Battle for the City of Lights
  • By: Martin Dugard
  • Narrated by: Samuel Roukin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (117 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

National Bestseller • From Martin Dugard, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Killing series with Bill O’Reilly, comes the spellbinding story of the Allied liberation of Paris from the grip of the Nazis during World War II

Taking Paris does for Paris during World War II what The Splendid and the Vile did for London.” (James Patterson) • “Heroes and villains abound. You’ll enjoy this fast-paced book immensely.” (Bill O’Reilly) • “Succeeds triumphantly.” (The Washington Post)

May 1940: The world is stunned as Hitler's forces invade France with a devastating blitzkrieg aimed at Paris. Within weeks, the French government has collapsed, and the City of Lights, revered for its carefree lifestyle, intellectual freedom, and love of liberty, has fallen under Nazi control - perhaps forever. 

As the Germans ruthlessly crush all opposition, a patriotic band of Parisians known as the Resistance secretly rise up to fight back. But these young men and women cannot do it alone. Over 120,000 Parisians die under German occupation. Countless more are tortured in the city's Gestapo prisons and sent to death camps. The longer the Nazis hold the city, the greater the danger its citizens face. As the armies of America and Great Britain prepare to launch the greatest invasion in history, the spies of the Resistance risk all to ensure the Germans are defeated and Paris is once again free. 

The players holding the fate of Paris in their hands are some of the biggest historical figures of the era: Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, General George S. Patton, and the exiled French general Charles de Gaulle, headquartered in London's Connaught Hotel. From the fall of Paris in 1940 to the race for Paris in 1944, this riveting, pause-resisting drama unfolds through their decisions - for better and worse. Taking Paris is history told at a breathtaking pace, a sprawling yet intimate saga of heroism, desire, and personal sacrifice for all that is right.

©2021 Martin Dugard (P)2021 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"[Dugard’s] ambition is to tell a gripping story. In this he succeeds triumphantly. One reads his narrative, mostly in the present tense, as if watching a film…. Dugard has real narrative gifts.” - The Washington Post

“Better than the Killing books.” - The Valdosta Daily Times 

Taking Paris reads like a film script; such is the immediacy of the writing and use of the present tense that you feel yourself in the action, striding up the Champs-Élysées liberating the French capital from the Nazis.” - Andrew Roberts, New York Times bestselling author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny 

What listeners say about Taking Paris

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

Incorrectly titled

I bought this book expecting the story of the fall of Paris to the German army, the rise of the Paris resistance and the retaking of Paris by the Parisian citizens and the French contingent of the US forces, but this is not that book. It is, instead, a general look at World War II in Western Europe through vignettes of many of the people involved. It is very well written, full of information that I have not seen elsewhere, excellently narrated but not the book I expected. Unfortunately it is also full of statements that need to be footnoted and statements that are just plain wrong.

The book is so interesting and so well narrated that I was tempted to ignore the mistakes as perhaps simply mistakes by the narrator, and perhaps they are as I don't have the print edition, but some are so glaring as to cause my eyebrows to raise when I rad them. For example the narrator talks about the 6 countries in the North African desert and then goes on to list the 5 actual countries by name. The narrator makes the statement that Charles DeGaulle was elected French President in 1969 and served for 10 years, and then in the next sentence says that he died in 1970. And then there are the horrible French and German accents used when quoting DeGaulle and General Rommel.

Similarly it is hard to see why this book carries the title it does since much of it has nothing at all to do with Paris at all, and much to do with the way the war was waged. Much of it involves the fighting in North Africa, the general French Resistance during the war in the south of France, the making and release of the film Casablanca and the British SOE, especially Virginia Hall, and these items have nothing to do with Paris itself other than that fact that Paris was affected by things that happened in the war.

And yet ... The book is so interesting, so informative, so well narrated and tells the general story of the war in France so well that I am willing to ignore all of those blemishes and recommend this book to anyone interested in some of the less well known ways that people reacted to the German invasion.

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Very well done.

Excellent perspective on all sides. Well and dramatically written and read. One feels like an observer of events unfolding on several different stages at the same time, giving the reader the advantage of learning the significance of each person, battle, and/or event in the contemporaneous context of all the others.

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Martin Dugard’s research and writing is exceptional

I have read every one of Martin Dugard’s books plus all the books that he co-authored with Bill O’Reilly. All of the books show excellent research and writing. I look forward to Killing the Killers and his next solo book. Thank you very much for your creativity and hard work.
Bob Winter

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History made exciting

Martin Dugard has a way of telling his story that is more like fiction than fact in that it is exciting and suspenseful, not boring and dry. He uses foreshadowing to pique the reader’s interest. He introduces characters, drops them, and then picks them up again later in the story. This technique shows the passage of time and events without a lot of boring details. I also appreciated his summary of information about the major characters at the end of the book. It’s always nice to know how the various people wound up.

I would recommend this book both to newbies not very educated on WW II as well as those who already know the facts but want to experience what happened. This colorful narrative takes the reader right into the heart of the battle.

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Tremendously insightful History

Tremendously insightful history into the personalities of some of the most important players that wrote the History of WWII ... and of course that key city, Paris.

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Great History quick moving

Fast moving details that gives some detail but not too much. Does not bog down.

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Foreign names and expressions badly pronounced

I really enjoyed the English language performance of the story. Authorative and serious. But the pronunciation of French names is terrible. At least mr. Roukin could have listened to Google translate on how to pronounce French names. Marshal Foch name is not pronounced as the American foul word Fu** OMG I'm so embarrassed for the Marshal's family. Even "Vive la France" he managed to totally destroy. Roukin's German is unfortunately no better. How he could be selected to read this book is a mystery to me.

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Fascinating read

Fact based historical account of the capture and retaking of Paris during Ww2. Very interesting!

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Outstanding production

Could hardly put it down, exceptionally interesting and factually outstanding. Great historical event and well presented

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Taking Paris

We learned a lot. Took several different topics and wove them all together following a time line. The French accents was horrible he sounded German. The German accident was the same not very good. I would recommend this book to my friends always keep our interest.