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3 Hawthorne World History- France

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

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The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris Cover

ISBN13: 9781416571766
ISBN10: 1416571760
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.” Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America, was one of this intrepid band. Another was Charles Sumner, who enrolled at the Sorbonne because of a burning desire to know more about everything. There he saw black students with the same ambition he had, and when he returned home, he would become the most powerful, unyielding voice for abolition in the U.S. Senate, almost at the cost of his life.

Two staunch friends, James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F. B. Morse, worked unrelentingly every day in Paris, Cooper writing and Morse painting what would be his masterpiece. From something he saw in France, Morse would also bring home his momentous idea for the telegraph.

Pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk from New Orleans launched his spectacular career performing in Paris at age 15. George P. A. Healy, who had almost no money and little education, took the gamble of a lifetime and with no prospects whatsoever in Paris became one of the most celebrated portrait painters of the day. His subjects included Abraham Lincoln.

Medical student Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote home of his toil and the exhilaration in “being at the center of things” in what was then the medical capital of the world. From all they learned in Paris, Holmes and his fellow “medicals” were to exert lasting influence on the profession of medicine in the United States.

Writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James were all “discovering” Paris, marveling at the treasures in the Louvre, or out with the Sunday throngs strolling the citys boulevards and gardens. “At last I have come into a dreamland,” wrote Harriet Beecher Stowe, seeking escape from the notoriety Uncle Toms Cabin had brought her. Almost forgotten today, the heroic American ambassador Elihu Washburne 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. The genius of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the son of an immigrant shoemaker, and of painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, three of the greatest American artists ever, would flourish in Paris, inspired by the examples of brilliant French masters, and by Paris itself.

Nearly all of these Americans, 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-Gaudenss phrase, longed “to soar into the blue.” The Greater Journey is itself a masterpiece.

Review:

"One of America's most popular historians and a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, McCullough (1776) has hit the historical jackpot. Travelers before the telephone era loved to write letters and journals, and McCullough has turned this avalanche of material into an entertaining chronicle of several dozen 19th-century Americans who went to Paris, an immense, supremely civilized city flowing with ideas, the arts, and elegance, where no one spit tobacco juice or defaced public property. They discovered beautiful clothing, delicious food, the art of dining ('The French dine to gratify, we to appease appetite,' wrote John Sanderson). Paris had not only pleasures but professional attractions as well. Artists such as Samuel F.B. Morse, Whistler, Sargent, and Cassatt came to train. At a time when American medical education was fairly primitive, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. and other prospective physicians studied at the Sorbonne's vast hospitals and lecture halls — with tuition free to foreigners. Authors from Cooper to Stowe, Twain, and James sometimes took up residence. 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. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

David McCullough tells the story of the American artists and scientists who studied in Paris, and changed America through what they learned there.

About the Author

David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback.  His other widely praised books are 1776, Brave Companions, The Great Bridge, and The Johnstown Flood.  He has been honored with the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 12 comments:

jksquires, March 29, 2012 (view all comments by jksquires)
I'm savoring this book and taking my time with it because it is so rich and informative on so many levels. Not only are the stories of the Americans in Paris fascinating, the tumultuous historical events going on in France also make terrific reading. I've enjoyed a lot of McCullough's books before, but this the best one yet.
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Sprite, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Sprite)
The Greater Journey was a fun and fascinating educational experience about art, communication systems, medical science, what was considered scandelous. Paris for a time was the center of just about everything....the fledging United States of America went there to learn and grow and never stop growning.
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kskolba, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by kskolba)
These are well-told tales of the 19th century Americans who fell in love with Paris,from artists and physicians to travelers and fair-goers. The intellectual and social openness that distinguished the City of Light enhanced the growth of new ideas in vastly different arenas of accomplishment. Civil and class wars are not ignored, but one is swept along the currents of French history on scraps of diaries and letters home, never tiring of the trip, never forced to memorize a date.
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View all 12 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416571766
Subtitle:
Americans in Paris
Author:
David McCullough
Author:
McCullough, David
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
World History-France
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20110531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
576
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Featured Titles » New Arrivals
History and Social Science » Europe » France » Paris
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » World History » France » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 576 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781416571766 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "One of America's most popular historians and a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, McCullough (1776) has hit the historical jackpot. Travelers before the telephone era loved to write letters and journals, and McCullough has turned this avalanche of material into an entertaining chronicle of several dozen 19th-century Americans who went to Paris, an immense, supremely civilized city flowing with ideas, the arts, and elegance, where no one spit tobacco juice or defaced public property. They discovered beautiful clothing, delicious food, the art of dining ('The French dine to gratify, we to appease appetite,' wrote John Sanderson). Paris had not only pleasures but professional attractions as well. Artists such as Samuel F.B. Morse, Whistler, Sargent, and Cassatt came to train. At a time when American medical education was fairly primitive, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. and other prospective physicians studied at the Sorbonne's vast hospitals and lecture halls — with tuition free to foreigners. Authors from Cooper to Stowe, Twain, and James sometimes took up residence. 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. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , David McCullough tells the story of the American artists and scientists who studied in Paris, and changed America through what they learned there.
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