The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris (Unabridged)
by David McCullough
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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 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.” Nearly all of the Americans profiled here - including Elizabeth Blackwell, James Fenimore Cooper, Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Harriet Beecher Stowe - 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.
Sadly boring and huge disapointment
Let me preface this with a statement: I am a history NUT. I visit cemeteries with my computer and Google the names, see what wars they fought, where they lived, what was happening during their life time. So you can see I’m easily entertained.
This book was so boring, I fell asleep sitting up a couple dozen times. I’ve been a fan of McCullough since Truman. Now that was an engrossing read. It is perplexing how such an interesting subject such as Paris pre-1900 could be turned into hours of boring nothingness. I think Ed Herman did a fine job reading the book. Although he would not have been my first choice to read it. He sounds too much like FDR. Still much of the fault falls on the author. I will defiantly not try to tackle another of his books. Perhaps time to hang up the Remington. I could not get into the characters. I was left wondering why the information was so elementary and even a bit white-washed. I bought it because of the reviews, which is why I’m doing my own. The book is a complete waste of time.