This book was well researched and filled with material from direct sources; but it 'read' like a novel. Being an art lover I was delighted to hear about the struggle for their art from the heart of the artists. Also very enjoyable was the view of great events in American history as viewed from the outside looking in. Especially interesting to me as well was learning the flow of the various French governments from the Revolution through WWI. The harrowing and heroic experiences of Elihu Washburn made me proud to be an American and elucidated the courage of all who lived in Paris during and right after the Franco-Prussian war. Samuel Morse taught me that one can have a chance at significant contributions to mankind at all stages of life. So much to learn and experience here. An unforgettable read.
Wow. Learned a lot and really enjoyed this. Little known or recognized historical bios of great significance to America. And, it's David McCullough, for heaven's sake.
A retirement coach, grandmother and active senior who listens to books while walking daily.
Like all McCullough's books, reading The Greater Journey is an educational experience couched in excellent historical non-fiction writing. It would probably be very surprising to many people to learn how much the French contributed to literature, science, the arts and architecture in the 19th and early 20th century. I have not visited Paris but I will have no problem navigating when I do next year. McCullough makes the city alive in my mind and I will be able to picture all of our country's early artists and writers sitting on their stools in the Louvre or on the benches of the parks or in the small studios tucked away on the Left Bank.
The fact that this book is so long made me happy - I did not want it to end!
Not necessarily (I have both) simply because I love the photos in the book. But, it was so wonderful to take this book on a walk every morning. My advice--get both--it's THAT good.
Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs or McCullough's Truman. All of these books provide an excellent glimpse into something unknown. So beautifully descriptive and truly captivating. A magnificent introduction to several characters and revelation of what makes them tick.
The lung under the hat...
I loved all the detail. Cannot imagine all the research into letters, journals, newspapers and
other source materials on so many people. I could almost see the author smiling as he
found some other delectable story in an obscure source.
The description of the Siege of Paris was one of the many highlights. The great
efforts of the American ambassador who worked tirelessly to save the lives of
many and the preparedness of many other Americans who aided with their
I also appreciated McCullough's switching back and forth from Paris to the
United States to link their histories together.
Herrmann's impeccable French pronunciations made the whole layout of Paris, it's
buildings, architecture come alive.
I especially enjoyed being free to see online all the art, sculpture and neighborhoods
as they were being described. Herrmann's reading, McCullough's writing and the
browsers really brought it to life.
Samuel Morse, Cooper, John Singer Sargent. Primarily the depictions of the artists.
Pioneers in Paris
While I really enjoyed listening to The Greater Journey, and would recommend it for any one who loves to listen to their books, I also felt that there were so many interesting historical ideas and threadsI wanted to pursue, that I would like to own the book in a print copy.
While there are many memorable moments in the book, they all seem to flow together like a string of pearls: intriguing, and lovely separately-- delightful as a piece.
Listening to the book allowed me to experience the 'essence of French culture' through the flow of the Herman's voice, instead of focusing on the details of history in a drier way. What came through is that the beauty of French culture had an affect on the American's who lived there, and so does Hermans delivery on us.
The beauty of this book was that it worked on me like a lilting French melody, instead of creating an extreme reaction.
While I knew about this period of history, it really came alive for me through the book's description of the characters lives in France. I was delightfully surprised by its effect.
It's David McCullough. What more do you need?
You will want to look up the paintings mentioned as you hear about them. Does the print version include copies of the paintings?
I love all of the audible books by McCullough and this one is no exception. It was recommended by a friend and I am grateful to him.
What I enjoy very much about the audible book is the music between chapters. I have several friends trying to identify the song between Chapter one and Chapter two. I would love it if someone could identify it.
Thank you to Amazon for providing this format.