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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Greater Journey - Americans In Paris

The weather here in Bluff Country has been quite unpredictable for days. With temperatures fluctuating wildly from one day to the next, one day I'm outside and the next in my "winter" mode. What that means is lots of arm chair sitting/snoozing, bird feeder watching, some soup making  and reading.

Now to the reading part. Mr McCullough has done it again. Two Pulitzer prizes ( for John Adams and Truman) along with numerous other award winning best sellers and a Presidential Medal of Freedom apparently weren’t enough. Recently, I ran across  a  recycle at the Goodwill store where my spouse hangs out occasionally. It was  The Greater Journey: Americans In Paris. The theme of this book might be summed up by  the authors statement that "not all pioneers went West." These were the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians architects and others 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. They achieved so much for themselves and their country,  profoundly altering  American history and culture
These "pioneers"   included (just to name drop a little) :
Oliver Wendel Holmes - Doctor, Poet.
Charles Sumner - Abolitionist, Senator
James Fenimore Cooper - Author
Samuel F.B. Morse - Painter, Inventor
Emma Willard - Educator, Author
Nathaniel Hawthorne - Author
Elizabeth Blackwell - 1st female Doctor
Ralph Waldo Emerson - Author
Louis Gottschalt - Pianist
George Healy - Portraitist
Mark Twain - Author
Henry James - Author
Harriet Beecher Stowe - Author
Elihu Washburne - Ambassador
August Saint Gaudens - Sculptor
Mary Cassel - Painter
John Singer Sarget - Painter
American no longer needed to only look to Europe for guidance in all things....
Over one hundred years later America has another gifted artist. Historian/biographer David McCullough. He knows how to tell a really good story.

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@Barrie Summy

11 comments:

Bubba Muntzer said...

I like browsing the books at Goodwill and trying to imagine why they're there. A death? A divorce? Was someone always intending to read it and finally admitted they never would? Did they donate it out of generosity hoping someone would be enlightened and live a better life? Were they moving and wanted to leave that part of their life behind?

The Greater Journey - Americans in Paris was no doubt in a box of books leftover from a garage sale held by a young couple trying to get together bus fare to Florida so they could become famous trapeze artists in the circus.

Jenn Jilks said...

I have heard of this man! Good review.
I love the napping photo!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Have not read this book by him but he is a marvelous writer and the subject interests me.

Stacy said...

Sounds like a great book. I'm curious how McCullough pulls all of these stories together.

Ray, I always leave your blog feeling I need to add more history books to my to-read list. You must have an amazing book collection in your home.

https://thecatsmeowbooks.wordpress.com/ (Sorry about the link. My Google account links to my old and inactive blog.)

Sarah Laurence said...

What a cool list! Pioneering in Pairs would be fun and I'm pleased to see a few women included. Your nap photo is making me sleepy...zzzz.

Vicki said...

Sounds like an excellent read on a snowy day in Minnesota (or New Mexico) :)

Linda McLaughlin said...

Sounds like a great choice, Ray. Glad you enjoyed it.

Powell River Books said...

This is a good time of year to get some reading done. When we have a sunny day we are out and about, working around the cabin or traveling around our lake. But cloudy, rainy days outnumber them so far. And I love to find good books at our local thrift and used book stores. - Margy

Barrie said...

I just bought David McCullough's John Adams. You have gotten me into history, Ray! Love the name-dropping list, btw. Thank you for reviewing!

L. D. said...

I can tell that I would really like this book. I like those kind of things written in to a narrative taking one right into the era.

Linda said...

Sounds very interesting. I have given tons of books away over the years. No need for them once read. I usually hold on to reference books but even they are rarely needed now that we have so much on the internet.