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Babelia, El País, Spain  (3 December 2011)
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El País, Spain  (28 September 2011)
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Business Standard, India  (25 August 2011)  (21 July 2011)  (25 June 2011)
The Observer, UK  (19 June 2011) (Israel)  (18 June 2011)
Times Literary Supplement, UK  (15 June 2011)
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Inside Story, Australia  (7 April 2011)
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Need to Know on PBS  (1 February 2011)
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American Library in Paris  (8 November 2010)
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Paris Through Expatriate Eyes  (31 October 2010)
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Harvard Gazette  (28 October 2010)
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ABC News  (19 October 2010)


France24 in Spanish on US elections of 2024  (3 November 2023)
American Library of Paris, Interview with Diane Johnson  (30 March 2022)
France24 in Spanish on the crisis in Nicaragua  (25 June 2021)
France24 in Spanish on Biden's inauguration  (22 Jan 2021)
Zoom interview with Sebastião Salgado  (3 Dec 2020)
Pandemonium U on my book  (5 June 2020)
France24 Español on the Democratic Party's prospects for the 2020 elections  (Dec 2019)
France24 Español on the 40th anniversary of the Nicaraguan Revolution  (July 2019)
RFI in Spanish  (May 2019)
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TV UNAM, Mexico  (13 November 2012)
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France 24  (10 November 2010) starts 3 mins into video


France 24 in Spanish on inauguration of Mexico's new President  (30 November 2018)
WNYC on French regional elections  (7 December 2015)
Radio Educacion, Mexico  (18 November 2012)
RFI en Espanol (25 March 2012)
France-Culture radio debate on Intellectual Collaboration as viewed by Anglo-Saxons
(6 June 2011)
Pompidou Centre debate on Artists and Intellectuals during the Occupation
(30 May 2011)
BBC Radio 4: Music in the Dark Years (Part 1)  (4 January 2011)
BBC Radio 4: Music in the Dark Years (Part 2)  (11 January 2011)


New York Times: Interview with Alexander Neef, Director-General of the Paris Opera  (31 March, 2022)
New York Times: Curtain Raiser for the Paris Opera's 2022-2023 season  (31 March, 2022)
Revista: Harvard Review of Latin America. Review of Bill Gentile's book, "Wait for Me"  (18 May, 2021)
New York Times: Paris Opera keeps working despite Covid-19  (31 March, 2021)
New York Times: Paris Opera performers adjust to Covid  (31 March, 2021)
Nicaragua essay on Swedish online site Bulletin  (August, 2021)
Amazon essay on Swedish online newspaper Bulletin  (July, 2021)
New York Times Book Review: Deidre Bair on Becket and Beauvoir  (Nov 15, 2019)
New York Times: Seen an Opera Lately? Robert Carsen Might Have Directed It  (May 9, 2019)
New York Times: A Trio of Toscas  (May 9, 2019)
New York Times Book Review: The One-Hit Author Whose One Hit Had 12 Volumes - "Dancing to the Music of Time" by Hilary Spurling  (November 30, 2018)
New York Times: At the Paris Opera, a Celebration 350 Years in the Making  (September 18, 2018)
New York Times: Operalia Opens Doors to the Best Stages; Winners Claim the Prize  (August 27, 2018)
New York Times Book Review: "The French Revolution Made Him an Exile, and a Writer - Memoirs From Beyond The Grave, 1768-1800" by François-René de Chateaubriand  (May 25, 2018)
New York Times Book Review: A Love Affair With Bookstores. In "Bookshops: A Reader's History" Jorge Carrión celebrates the intellectual and social history of bookstores around the world  (December 1, 2017)
New York Times Book Review: Peter Parker's 'Housman Country' describes a poet who evoked a timeless countryside when England was becoming increasingly urban  (July 27, 2017)
New York Times Book Review: 'Making Monte Carlo' by Mark Braude  (June 01, 2016)
New York Times Sunday Book Review: 'The 6:41 to Paris' by Jean-Philippe Blondel  (December 04, 2015)
New York Times Podcast: 'Women of Will' and 'Shakespeare and the Countess'  (May 22, 2015)
New York Times Sunday Book Review: 'Women of Will' and 'Shakespeare and the Countess'  (May 18, 2015)
New York Times Opinion Pages: A Father-Daughter War  (April 12, 2015)
New York Times Sunday Book Review: Patrick Modiano's 'Suspended Sentences'  (December 24, 2014)
New York Times Opinion Pages: France's Troubled Liberation  (August 24, 2014)
New York Times Book Review: 'The Interior Circuit' by Francisco Goldman - Travels in a Maze in Mexico  (July 23, 2014)
New York Times Book Review: 'The Gray Notebook' by Josep Pla - A Catalan writer held on to his 1918-19 diary for almost half a century, revising it and creating a portrait of the times  (April 18, 2014)
New York Times Book Review: No Resistance - Nicholas Shakespeare investigates his aunt's complicated experience in occupied France  (January 17, 2014)
New York Times Movies: The Interview - Ingmar Bergman  (October 13, 2013)
New York Times Book Review: Witness to War - Thomas Keneally's 'Daughters of Mars'  (August 16, 2013)
New York Times Book Review: The Paris Deadline  (December 19, 2012)
New York Times: Safety First in Mexico  (November 28, 2012)
New York Times Book Review: Man of Majorca  (October 12, 2012)
New York Times: When Past is Present  (July 20, 2012)
New York Times: Mexico - Turning Back or Moving On?  (June 27, 2012)
New York Times Book Review: "Versailles" by Valérie Bajou  (June 1, 2012)
New York Times Review: "HHhH" by Laurent Benet  (April 27, 2012)
New York Times Review: "Elizabeth The Queen" by Sally Bedell Smith  (Jan 29, 2012)
New York Times Review: "A Thousand Lives" by Julia Scheeres  (Oct. 7, 2011)
New York Times Book Review: "Conscience" by Louise Thomas  (July 3, 2011)
New York Times: Céline: The Genius and the Villain, OpEd, IHT  (June 29, 2011)

Advance Praise for And The Show Went On

"Alan Riding has conducted a superbly fair-minded, well-researched, well-written and nuanced investigation into the greyest of all the moral grey areas of 20th century history: when does co-existence with evil become co-habitation, or even collaboration? The very differing responses of the world-historical cultural figures such as Picasso, Camus, Sartre, Chanel, Celine, Malraux, Mauriac, Cocteau, Piaf, Colette and Aragon - ranging from the utterly heroic to the frankly despicable - will mean that you will not be able to view them or their work in the same light again."
Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War

"Only someone as deeply versed in French culture as is Alan Riding, and as completely in command of his subject, could have written this magisterial account of France's authors and artists and filmmakers and musicians during the Occupation. It is star-studded and makes fascinating reading."
David Fromkin, author of A Peace to End All Peace

"A splendidly informed study of Parisian cultural elite during the dark years. Riding places brilliant portraits of leading individuals in the context of clearly depicted French politics, alive to the moral drama of people facing extreme choices across fluid ideological lines. A study of ambiguities, including the varying conduct of German occupiers, of accommodation, betrayal, and human and patriotic decency. A book of transcendent relevance."
Fritz Stern, author of Gold and Iron

"In this highly readable book, Alan Riding presents a thorough, balanced account of the ways French artists and writers responded to Nazi occupation, ranging from active resistance to enthusiastic collaboration. Based on numerous interviews as well as published memoirs and diaries and the latest historical scholarship, this lively book will be of interest to specialists as well as to readers who wish to know more about that troubled period of French history. Riding marshals details with the verve and care of a great reporter."
Susan Suleiman, C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France and Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University

"A superb account of intellectuals under pressure, how thought was married to action or, more frequently, inaction. A few heroes, a few villains, and many in between. It's the in-betweens who seize our attention, those occupying a no-man's land where resistance and collaboration dance a most delicate minuet. Alan Riding, deeply versed in French politics and culture, is the ideal guide to Parisian life under the Nazis. He has written a wonderful book."
Ward Just, author of An Unfinished Season and Echo House

Early Reviews for And The Show Went On

And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris
Riding, Alan (Author)
Oct. 2010. 400 p. Knopf, hardcover, $27.95 (9780307268976). 944.081

On June 14, 1940, the Nazis marched effortlessly into Paris, forever changing the rich cultural life of the City of Lights. Within weeks, the Germans began shipping their neighbor's coveted cultural treasures back to the Fatherland (except for the so-called degenerate art, of course). Artists, especially Jews and leftists, faced difficult choices, and many careers (and lives) were cut short. But, as Riding (Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans, 1989) shows, Paris would still continue to be Paris. Nightclubs and brothels catered to German soldiers; theater, ballet, film, and music all continued, albeit under the surveillance of the German authorities, who were agents of cultural imperialism as well as censors. Examining the wartime trajectories of a great many cultural figures, Riding's nuanced and substantial study avoids easy conclusions about collaborators and resisters alike. Rather, it emphasizes the various pressures experienced by artists, not least of which may have been maintaining Paris' cultural dominance of Europe without the "oxygen of freedom" necessary for creative inspiration.
- Brendan Driscoll

Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris
Author: Riding, Alan
Review Date: July 1, 2010

Former New York Times European cultural correspondent Riding (Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans, 1984) explores a troubling issue in modern history: the behavior of French artists, performers and writers during the Nazi occupation of Paris.

The author begins in June 1940, when "the German army drove into Paris unopposed," then provides a quick explanation of how Paris became a magnet for artists and intellectuals in the aftermath of World War I - and how the unstable French governments softened the soil for fascism. Returning to the Nazis, Riding describes how the French scrambled to hide, sometimes successfully, their art treasures from the invaders. He notes how Joseph Goebbels and others believed that keeping Parisian culture alive would help pacify the French - and he proved prescient. Throughout the occupation, plays, operas and concerts continued; poets and novelists and journalists wrote; painters painted; dancers danced; filmmakers filmed - all with a deadly difference, however. Jews were erased, anti-fascists were arrested, and sometimes executed, and publications and productions had to submit to Nazi censorship. As Riding demonstrates in this startling cultural history, many writers and artists sold their services to the fascists for reasons ranging from simple survival to solidarity with the Germans (after the war, the French dealt harshly with most of the latter). He examines a plethora of individual cases, including Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Josephine Baker, Chevalier, Piaf, Cocteau, Sartre, Genet, Camus, Saint-Exupéry and the collaborating Céline. The author also retells the heroic story of American Varian Fry, who struggled to save French artists; examines underground publications; and reveals that the resistance was never as pervasive as postwar mythology maintained.

A stark account of how we act when evil enters our door.

And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris
Alan Riding, Knopf, $27.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-307-26897-6

Riding, a former European cultural correspondent for the New York Times, recounts Parisian life under the Nazi swastika and the forced compromises of French writers, artists, and performers under Hitler's rule. Riding's clear-eyed account lifts the veil on the moral and artistic choices for those who stayed and were forced to decide whether to resist, collaborate, or compromise somewhere in between. Publisher Gaston Gallimard let a German-selected editor run his prestigious Nouvelle Revue Française; in turn, he was able to publish books by authors unsympathetic to the Nazis. While the American government lobbied for emergency visas for gifted refugees who didn't flee to Switzerland or North Africa, some artists and performers hid or performed in cabarets or clubs with non-Aryan restrictions. Maurice Chevalier traveled to Germany to perform for French POWs and was seen by some as a collaborator worthy of death. Among the best examinations of occupied life under the Third Reich, Riding's (Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans) eloquent book speaks of the swift executions of traitors and the women disgraced by having their heads shaved, but admits that the French embraced the myth of national resistance and pushed the Occupation out of their minds. 16 pages of photos. (Oct.)

Riding, Alan. And The Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris. Knopf. Oct. 2010, c. 400p, photogs. bibliog. index.

Riding (former European cultural correspondent, New York Times) frames his narrative within a larger philosophical context: the role of the artist in troubled times. Interested in the question of how artists react to repression, he focuses on German-occupied Paris during World War II. With exhaustive research, including personal interviews with many who experienced these years and stories from heralded figures like Edith Piaf, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Andre Malraux, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery, he examines the cultural life of Paris before, during, and after the occupation. Riding also explains the competing goals of the Vichy government, which sought to show that the French were not defeated culturally, and the German occupiers, who aimed to break French domination of international cultural life while shaping French culture to Nazi dictates. Thus, for different reasons, French culture survived. The occupiers wanted to be entertained and Parisians wanted to be distracted. In pondering the legacy of the period, Riding concludes that those who escaped and those who died left room for new talent to replace them, albeit in a post-war world in which cultural predominance shifted away from Paris. VERDICT This engrossing work, rich in detail, should apeal to French historians and serious readers interested in 20th century cultural history - Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell College, NJ