This was a much better book than that other French one. For me anyway, this was an excellent city biography. Sometimes these things get a little too arty (Robert Hughes’ Barcelona) or in love with their own thematic schemes (Peter Ackroyd’s London). What I wanted here was something that told a straightforward history – how Paris came to look the way it does, hopefully to get a better understanding of various arrondissements came to have their individual character. Jones’ book pretty much gets the job done on this score. Unlike the Price book, it did not unduly privilege the recent past over the more distant, and it was altogether a more helpful guide to understanding the city than Eric Hazan’s The Invention of Paris, which IIRC (this was 2014) is a little 19th C-specific and Haussmann-obsessed. And it was in some ways a better guide to French history overall than Price as well, mainly because it gives you a feel of the flow of history without getting bogged down in which Head of State and which cabinet minister did X or Y.
It’s not must-read history. But that said, I’d recommend it to anyone going on a trip to Paris. It makes the whole city more comprehensible and a visit there more enjoyable (for the historically-minded, anyway).