Top critical review
Fascinating Stories of Famous Americans Developing Their Place in History
Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2016
A historical junket that chronicles a series of events and significant Americans who spent time in Paris to hone their cultural and/or artistic skills. It traverses through late the early years of eighteenth century through the early years of the twentieth century. In typical McCullough fashion, this book is well researched and full of information that surrounds interesting people. I learned a great deal about the American growth of diplomacy with France, the wars, the alliances, and the enmity between the countries. I also learned a great deal about Americans who studied and practiced medicine, painting, sculpture, music, and political diplomacy in Paris. This city is a modern center of culture, and it is fitting that much of the American culture has been largely influenced by France, and more particularly, Paris. As well done as the book is, I struggled through the myriad pages of detail, historical facts, stories, persons and famous events that were not connected in story form, but rather an encyclopedic fashion. I started and stopped this book at least 4 times while reading it in order to read something that was more pleasurable reading. I read largely for pleasure but have great interest in history and the perspectives that history brings to my personal core knowledge. This was great for increasing core knowledge, but dull for pleasure reading value.