- Title: The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris
- Author: David McCullough
- ISBN: 9781416571766
- Page: 348
- Format: Hardcover
The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring and until now, untold story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.After risking the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, these Americans embarked on a greatThe Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring and until now, untold story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.After risking the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, these Americans embarked on a greater journey in the City of Light Most had never left home, never experienced a different culture None had any guarantee of success That they achieved so much for themselves and their country profoundly altered American history As David McCullough writes, Not all pioneers went west Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America, was one of this intrepid band Another was Charles Sumner, who enrolled at the Sorbonne because of a burning desire to know about everything There he saw black students with the same ambition he had, and when he returned home, he would become the most powerful, unyielding voice for abolition in the U.S Senate, almost at the cost of his life Two staunch friends, James Feni Cooper and Samuel F B Morse, worked unrelentingly every day in Paris, Cooper writing and Morse painting what would be his masterpiece From something he saw in France, Morse would also bring home his momentous idea for the telegraph Pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk from New Orleans launched his spectacular career performing in Paris at age 15 George P A Healy, who had almost no money and little education, took the gamble of a lifetime and with no prospects whatsoever in Paris became one of the most celebrated portrait painters of the day His subjects included Abraham Lincoln Medical student Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote home of his toil and the exhilaration in being at the center of things in what was then the medical capital of the world From all they learned in Paris, Holmes and his fellow medicals were to exert lasting influence on the profession of medicine in the United States Writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James were all discovering Paris, marveling at the treasures in the Louvre, or out with the Sunday throngs strolling the city s boulevards and gardens At last I have come into a dreamland, wrote Harriet Beecher Stowe, seeking escape from the notoriety Uncle Tom s Cabin had brought her Almost forgotten today, the heroic American ambassador Elihu Washburne bravely remained at his post through the Franco Prussian War, the long Siege of Paris and even atrocious nightmare of the Commune His vivid account in his diary of the starvation and suffering endured by the people of Paris drawn on here for the first time is one readers will never forget The genius of sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens, the son of an immigrant shoemaker, and of painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, three of the greatest American artists ever, would flourish in Paris, inspired by the examples of brilliant French masters, and by Paris itself Nearly all of these Americans, whatever their troubles learning French, their spells of homesickness, and their suffering in the raw cold winters by the Seine, spent many of the happiest days and nights of their lives in Paris McCullough tells this sweeping, fascinating story with power and intimacy, bringing us into the lives of remarkable men and women who, in Saint Gaudens s phrase, longed to soar into the blue The Greater Journey is itself a masterpiece.
Recent Comments "The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris"
Dear Community:This is not easy for me to do and I am sorry to have to do this in this forum. I realize it is a bit cowardly and beg your understanding but you need to know it is not you, it’s me—well, maybe it is you. Yes, over the last four years we’ve had some good times and I will cherish those books you’ve recommended through your insightful reviews and ratings. Those were wonderful times and I trusted you then. However, over the past year or so, it seems more and more that you’v [...]
Onvan : The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris - Nevisande : David McCullough - ISBN : 1416571760 - ISBN13 : 9781416571766 - Dar 558 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2011
This book made me wish I could travel back in time to Paris in the 1830s. The collection of artists and writers there was remarkable.In "The Greater Journey," David McCullough tells stories of a varied group of Americans who went to Paris in the 19th century, and then returned home with new ideas, new art, new writings and even new inventions. The group included James Fenimore Cooper, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mark Twain, Henry James, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, [...]
I wasn't sure how much I would like this even though I know I like the way David McCullough and his team put together books. I was hesitant because the book focuses on many different individuals, all Americans residing in Paris from the late 1820s through 1900. Would I get adequate depth about each? The answer? Many individuals are mentioned and yet I was interested in so many because of the fascinating information provided. I did not get complete biographies of any, but the book does focus in m [...]
We went to see McCullough 'launch' this latest offering. He's 78 now but still looks and sounds like God. (With apologies to Morgan Freeman and Alanis Morissette, who some people also think look like God). He spoke without a note for over an hour with only a rare misspeak, telling the wonderful stories that he unearthed about 19th Century Americans in Paris. Context: I was always a reader, but McCullough's Path Between the Seas is one of the handful of books that turned me into an addict. And, I [...]
(This review appeared in the Carbondale Nightlife, February 28-March 6, 2013, p. 14.)David McCullough became a household name in the most unlikely way. He wrote a biography of John Adams, who was tedious on his best day. Somehow the little guy came to life in McCullough’s prose. But there’s a back story. McCullough’s great secret? He’s not a history professor; he’s a writer. He has nothing beyond a Bachelor’s degree, and that’s in literature (albeit from Yale, where he studied with [...]
Ever since I picked up John Adams, I have been an avid fan of David McCullough. His biography of Harry Truman is perhaps the best one I’ve ever read. McCullough has a knack for taking people or things that perhaps have escaped the popular limelight (such as the Panama Canal or the Brooklyn Bridge) and writes a completely captivating history of them. You do not simply read a McCullough book, you experience it.When I first heard that McCullough was penning a new work focusing on the impact that [...]
I can see how, in all the wild Sturm und Drang of this modern world, you just might get in the mood for a couple of peaceful evenings in the parlor listening to a softly ticking clock and a mild, grandfatherly-type person amble gently through his stock of anecdotes. And if you happen to like your anecdotes very gentle and discursive indeed, and you’ve a yen to untangle bits about some pretty interesting Americans in Paris between 1830 and 1900 from the anecdote skein, then this is the book for [...]
This was the first book I read after returning from a trip to France, and it was a perfect choice. Not only did I enjoy revisiting various Parisian sites in my mind’s eye, I was also fascinated to see the city through the eyes of other Americans. Nineteenth century Americans at that. Told in McCullough’s engaging style, this book explores the voyages of various influential Americans to Paris between the 1830s and 1900. I was struck by the unique and changing relationship between the two coun [...]
This is the story of Americans who traveled to Paris during the seven final decades of the 19th century. It's a history of the young years of individuals who ended up being famous and important Americans in their later mature years. Generally speaking, many of them were single, affluent individuals (mostly men) in their 20's intent on learning the artistic, scientific, and medical skills of the French who were perceived to be leaders in these fields.I too spent some time traveling in Europe when [...]
I LOVE David McCullough; as a matter of fact, I ran out, bought this book, and read it just because it had his name on it. However, The Greater Journey is not John Adams, Truman, or Mornings on Horseback. While McCullough excels at writing investigating the life of a man facing extraordinary circumstances (the topic of all three above books listed), he falters at writing about many men and women being influenced by Paris. The first third of the book is choppy, confusing, and riddled with short p [...]
A new McCullough! Squee!
McCullough's work is always excellent, though I would argue the author is at his best when he focuses on one person rather than a plethora of figures, which is the reason I deducted a star.Just as its subtitle says, The Greater Journey recounts the stories of many famous Americans who went to Paris. Whether to learn, travel, absorb culture, or hone skills, all of these now-impressive voyagers have interesting tales of their own. McCullough breathes great life into each of these people, and also [...]
This is the second David McCullough work that I’ve read and I must admit I’ve had the same basic reaction to both - extremely well researched, highly informative, wonderfully interesting. Yet this journey was a bit of a slog – not a book to be run through in a few days like some light mystery. This work deals with Americans who traveled to Paris during the 19th Century and the effect that “The City of Light” had on their careers, their insights, their accumulation of knowledge. From me [...]
I read 200 pages, then the last chapter and the epilogue. Although any given page was well-written and interesting, I kept waiting for some pay-off of synthesis explaining the point of McCullough's endless lists of loosely connected unimportant events. Do I really need to know about the sordid details of the love life of Augustus Saint-Gaudens? The historian is maybe supposed to be "objective" but the choice of stories and details is a subjective editorial decision and it would have helped to ma [...]
Non-fiction about numerous Americans who lived in Paris during the period 1830-1900. It fits my definition of a 3-star reading experience: overall, I liked it but didn’t care for certain aspects. The author covers a lot of ground here– artists, musicians, sculptors, diplomats, authors, doctors, entertainers, and socialites. It reads like a series of short stories of interesting people.What I liked a lot:• It was well-written• Gave some very interesting observations about the work of arti [...]
While the book made enjoyable reading and I learned a lot, the theme of Americans in Paris over decades wasn't strong enough to hold the book together very tightly. Our discussion group agreed that the section on the medical students is the strongest, since it covers several people who formed a cohesive community and paints a vivid picture of the state of medical science before antibiotics and anesthesia. The section about the diplomat Elihu Washburne also holds together well since it coalesces [...]
Magnifique! I should have known--McCullough is one of my favorite history writers, and he's writing about nineteenth-century Paris, one of my favorite places to read/think/dream about. This was even better than I thought it'd be. When I was young I always wanted to go to Paris--but not Francois Mitterand's Paris. No, I wanted Degas' Paris, Balzac's Paris, Toulouse-Lautrec's Paris. Well, this was an extended visit to that same Paris but through fresh eyes. Much of what was in this book I knew lit [...]
A fine history, but unfortunately not up to McCullough's (extremely) high standards.McCullough is an excellent biographer, and an excellent narrative historian. However, this book, trying to cover such a broad topic as Americans in Paris in the 19th century, he seems to almost flounder. Many of the chapters are excellent, and his usual skill shines here. Unfortunately, some of the order and presentation of all this information seems erratic. There are lots of interesting narrative stories, and b [...]
I really did feel like I was in Paris back then and the atmosphere was wonderful but the novel itself I wish he would've gone more in dept on the people themselves We get a little info about them then its on to the next section then sometimes they appear in a section about someone else. It felt a little dry and confusing after awhile.I don't mind lookin up different things from a book time to time, but not every other person in the book.For me this was a dud, David McCullough is a wonderful writ [...]
I very much enjoyed this look at Americans who journeyed to Paris in the 1900's to "broaden their horizons." I really enjoyed learning more about those whose names I recognized and learning about those whom I did not know. The audio was good and held my attention.Some of the profiles are of those who went to study medicine, such as Oliver Wendell Holmes (father of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.) and Elizabeth Blackwell (the first American woman physician). Many of the profiles [...]
Biography is the most interesting way to learn history. And some writers have a knack for unearthing those anecdotes which best make a biography. David McCullough is certainly one (Robert Caro is another).It now seems obvious that a book about Americans visiting Paris in the 19th century could be fascinating and also edifying. But when I first picked up this book I wondered if McCullough would finally fail to interest me. He didn't. He got me right into the life and times of his chosen subjects. [...]
“The Greater Journey” is a book that in less capable hands than David McCullough’s would have been deadly dull. However, in his hands it is a wonderful narrative history that manages to be about many things, and all at the same time.This text is about the American artists, diplomats, writers, doctors, etc. who populated Paris France during the 19th century. Beginning with the early 1800s and concluding essentially at the dawn of the 1900s McCullough gives us a readable and very fascinating [...]
With a nod to Rachel's excellent review, this was the literary equivalent of a cup of cocoa (the chalky kind from a tin, without marshmallows) with your grandfather. It was perfectly pleasant and you will learn quite a few things about various American intellectuals and reformers who spent time in Paris during the 19th century, but the slow pace and overly detailed anecdotes are apt to make you nod off. Also, the lack of clear connections between the various characters (other than the fact that [...]
This was an interesting account of various Americans who traveled to Paris during the mid to latter parts of the 19th century as it was the world's cultural and educational center. They came in large numbers to study art, literature, education, medicine, politics, etc. the notable Americans included such names as James Fenimore Cooper, Samuel FB Morse, Elizabeth Blackwell, Charles Sumner, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mary Cassett, and John Singer Sargent among others. It is an i [...]
Excellent writing; clear organization; fun to read; made history alive.
Because in case we haven't established here, I'm a sucker for any story that involves Americans in Paris.
How could I NOT plan to read this book? Love McCullough's writing, love history, love Paris!
Public library copy. Chose this for the time period, 1830-1900, which I am studying American history. It's an ambitious topic, covering many different people, mostly artists, writers, doctors, (all students) and one diplomat, Elihu Washburn. I learned much, not just history but character.Washburn, Cassatt, and Saint-Gaudens were my favorite. I love being able to read so many things connected in one place, putting them into historical and cultural perspective, as well as in a timeline. The book i [...]
Bound: Paris in Its SpringTime-Traveling with Some Exemplary AmericansSunPost Weekly July 14, 2011 | John Hoodbit/ptFnBtReturning home from Paris, no matter where home happens to be, is never an easy thing. It’s especially difficult to do after a hundred year trip. So it was with some discomfort — and deep reluctance — that, after more than a century away, I came back to Miami last week. Yes, it was the same hometown that I’d left. But it wasn’t Paris, of the 19th century or otherwise. [...]
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