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The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

por David McCullough

Outros autores: Amy Hill (Designer)

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,721765,219 (3.95)177
This is the 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. 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. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America; future abolitionist Charles Sumner; staunch friends James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F. B. Morse (who saw something in France that gave him the idea for the telegraph); pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk; medical student Oliver Wendell Holmes; writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James; Harriet Beecher Stowe, seeking escape from the notoriety Uncle Tom's Cabin had brought her; sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent; and American ambassador Elihu Washburne, who bravely remained at his post through the Franco-Prussian War, the long Siege of Paris and even more 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. Nearly all of these Americans, whatever their troubles, spent many of the happiest days and nights of their lives in Paris.--From publisher description. McCullough mixes famous and obscure names and delivers capsule biographies of everyone to produce a colorful parade of educated, Victorian-era American travelers and their life-changing experiences in Paris.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 74 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This is the first David McCullough book I've read and I really enjoyed it. History, Paris and art combined in one big book! He tells the stories of various Americans (painters and sculptors, writers, doctors, architects, and politicians) who traveled to Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900.

I found it fascinating to learn how much the American medical system owes to the French. I'd really never thought about it before. In politics it was interesting to read about poor Sumner being beaten with a cane by another Senator and all the perpetrator got was a $300 fine. And I'm always amazed at how often people traveled back and forth to Europe (often for their health) even though ocean voyages were perilous and took months.

The letter writing was eloquent and it's impressive that they kept such detailed records of their day to day lives along with current events in their diaries...if only our social media today inspired that kind of writing!

This book covers a lot of territory and I enjoyed it all. It's hard to pick a favorite ... I particularly liked reading about John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt and Augustus Saint-Gaudens and James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F.B. Morse (particularly in light of living nearby Locust Grove!)

( )
  ellink | Jan 22, 2024 |
David McCullough was a master of the narrative historical vignette, and this is no exception. He deftly weaves an intricately connected and very readable tale of Americans in Paris, focusing on the nineteenth century. He manages to encompass students (medical and artistic), writers, and diplomats, drawing ably on a wide range of sources. My favorite bit was a long set piece in the middle centered on Elihu Washburne during the period of the Franco-Prussian war and the Paris Commune, but there was almost nothing not to enjoy. ( )
  JBD1 | Jan 21, 2024 |
Here's what I wrote in 2012 about this read: "Great history once again from Mr. McCullough. The Americans in Paris, circa ~1820 - 1900. The painters, the writers, the ambassadors, the medical students and the opportunistic (think the American dentist). Tre' interesting to learn of painter John Singer Sargent, Ambassador Elihu Washburn, American Civil War scuplter Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Terrific read and lovely experience when cross-referencing the art on the iPad." Additional note here in 2023: Extremely serendipitously we were able to attend David's McCullough's lecture on this book, given at NYC's Met. He was a national treasure. ( )
  MGADMJK | Aug 31, 2023 |
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 artists such as Samuel Morse (before the telegraph), George Healy, James Whistler, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens (sculptor), which was one of the primary reasons I read the book
• Provided insight into medical history I had not previously known
• Inclusion of photos of people, artwork and architecture of the period

What I didn’t care for:
• Due to the number of people, and the passing of time, it seemed a bit unfocused – it was difficult to tie together the lives of so many, some of whom received very little attention to the point one wonders why they were even included
• It ventured a bit far afield into the history of France during this era
• Covered what happened, but very little of WHY (which to me is rather important)

If you enjoy glimpses into the lives of people of a specific time-period, you may enjoy this book. ( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Wonderful audiobook. Like listening to a wise elder tell stories of generations past. ( )
  Chris.Wolak | Oct 13, 2022 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 74 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Unlike the heroes of the American Revolution, whose experiences Mr. McCullough has already addressed so well, these travelers did not necessarily have diplomatic business in France. They had sights to see, minds to broaden, effusions to emit (“My mind was smitten with a feeling of sublimity almost too intense for mortality,” gushed Emma Willard, who would eventually found her eponymous school in upstate New York) and journals to fill with ecstatic observations about the Louvre, the cuisine and the weather. In trying to establish this as a raison d’être for the book, Mr. McCullough writes that “not all pioneers went west.” He provides a slogan worthy of a movie poster: “At home it was known as the Old World. To them it was all new.” But Mr. McCullough is hard-pressed to sustain the idea of a unified “them” at the heart of his book. So he is forced to make awkward juxtapositions and segues among people who did not cross the Atlantic at the same time (though “everyone knew the perils of the sea”), did not live a shared narrative and did not share all that much common ground. He ends up delivering the kinds of space-filling observations that might not even pass muster in a high-school history paper. This is not the side of Mr. McCullough that has made him a national treasure.
adicionada por Shortride | editarThe New York Times, Janet Maslin (May 23, 2011)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (1 possível)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
David McCulloughautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Hill, AmyDesignerautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Dauzat, Pierre-EmmanuelTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Herrmann, EdwardNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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They spoke of it then as the dream of a lifetime, and for many, for all the difficulties and setbacks encountered, it was to be one of the best times ever.
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This is the 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. 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. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America; future abolitionist Charles Sumner; staunch friends James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F. B. Morse (who saw something in France that gave him the idea for the telegraph); pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk; medical student Oliver Wendell Holmes; writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James; Harriet Beecher Stowe, seeking escape from the notoriety Uncle Tom's Cabin had brought her; sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent; and American ambassador Elihu Washburne, who bravely remained at his post through the Franco-Prussian War, the long Siege of Paris and even more 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. Nearly all of these Americans, whatever their troubles, spent many of the happiest days and nights of their lives in Paris.--From publisher description. McCullough mixes famous and obscure names and delivers capsule biographies of everyone to produce a colorful parade of educated, Victorian-era American travelers and their life-changing experiences in Paris.

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