THE GREATER JOURNEY: AMERICANS IN PARIS
It took a while, but I have just finished reading David McCullough’s most recent book, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris. It focuses on the years 1830 through 1900 and is wonderfully dense, tremendously researched and completely absorbing. McCullough, a brilliant narrative historian and Pulitzer Prize winner, chose a formidable group of Americans to focus on including doctors, politicians, writers and artists. I especially loved reading about the artists, most of whom were at the very beginning of their careers when they first traveled abroad. However the reactions of Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin) and Emma Hart Willard (founder of Emma Willard School and the leading proponent of girls’ education in the United States) to the beauty of and reverence for art, architecture and culture in France were, for me, most resounding.
The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris (Simon & Schuster, 2011)