The Greater Journey; Americans in Paris

Read: Yes
Length: V
Difficulty: III
Importance: IV
Quick Review: A great look into how Paris affected America and how America affected Paris in regards to art, science, and intellect over the last almost two centuries.

I am a huge fan of David McCullough, who happens to be a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. I think he is a fabulous scholar, author, and researcher. It is blatantly obvious he has a passion for history with an unparalleled ability to convey an immense amount of research without ever being dry.

The Greater Journey is about Americans who spent time living in Paris. Many of the Americans returned to the US after Paris, but a handful remained in France. The Americans flocked to Paris as the center of style, art, intellect, etc. Paris is commonly known to have been home to American writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway in the 1920’s, but Paris was home to many more American greats as much as a century before.

McCullough never lightly takes on the task of telling the history of a subject. He really goes all out. I always complain how a vast majority of scholars write incredibly dry books. They know so much about the subject that they try and cram in all the details but forget to make it interesting for the readers who do not eventually want to write a dissertation on the subject – so most. McCullough has never fallen into this category of academics. He is always engaging and interesting. I am always impressed by his thorough yet entertaining rhetoric.

I would highly suggest The Greater Journey. If you’re not interested in Americans in Paris, I do suggest his other books on topics ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to John Adams to the Wright Brothers to American Pioneers and a bunch of other interesting stuff. He’s a great author and historian. I highly suggest him!

Memorable Quotes:
“To Wendell Holmes she was a shining case in point of why women should not be excluded from a medical education.” about Madame La Chapelle

To Purchase: The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris
Author: David McCullough
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Copyright: 2011
ISBN: 9781416571766

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