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The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- ASIN : B004JXXL0U
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (May 24, 2011)
- Publication date : May 24, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 19514 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 578 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #120,902 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Yet, David McCullough has once again managed to captivate me with these interwoven stories of inventors, doctors, and artists and the deep entwinement that marks American and French history. The book is interesting, first of all, because the book centers on a place rather than a person (McCullough is perhaps first thought of by most as a biographer), so I was curious to see if and how he could "bring to life" a 19th-century city.
Of course, this is the David McCullough of "John Adams" fame, so there was never much in the way of doubt as to what he could actually accomplish. There is an unbelievable ease to his writing. Though his scholarship is immense (especially when you consider all the excerpts from personal letters and diaries), it never weighs the story down nor does it give the book the "clunky" feel so common to most academic works. Perhaps that is due to McCullough's virtually-inerrant sense for the "telling" anecdote that encapsulates the point or captures the spirit of what he is trying to convey. Here are stories of the formative years of many of America's "leading lights" of the 19th century: Samuel F.B. Morse, George Catlin, Mary Cassatt, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and John Singer Sargent, among others…all told with ease and grace and fine sense of the entanglement that makes human life and society so rich and exciting.
If the book does anything, I believe it shows, first of all, the deep kinship that bonds the United States of America to the country of France. It also reminds me that, though world history is vast and complicated, for all intents and purposes, the modern world revolved around Paris for much of the 19th century…artistically, technologically, medically, politically. Perhaps our postmodern ethos has made us so intent on telling the "forgotten" stories of history (a moral duty, no doubt) that we've almost lost the ability to discern the "pivotal" stories that have shaped not just the contemporary moment but the trajectories of decades and even centuries to come. There are "centers" to world events (assuredly not all Western European or North American), and McCullough's thoughtful portrayal has me considering where such influence might be found today. That is the ultimate power of good history: to recall the past in such a way as to reshape our comprehension of the present. And that is precisely what David McCullough's work unfailingly does.
Top reviews from other countries
I have to thank Amazon very much for recommending The Greater Journey as one of their daily suggestions. I was dubious about the subtitle “Americans in Paris“ but I took a chance, it was a reasonable price and I love most things Parisian. I even hesitated to start readIng the book, I have so many other books I “need“ to read. I thought I would just read a few pages and see how it was (this is me - not the world's authority - hesitating to read an author that I later discover is a double Pulitzer Prize winner - sorry).
I will tell you how it was for me, it was engrossing, enthralling and entirely wonderful.