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The Greater Journey Audiobook

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

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Publisher's Summary

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.”

Nearly all of the Americans profiled here - including Elizabeth Blackwell, James Fenimore Cooper, Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Harriet Beecher Stowe - 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-Gaudens’s phrase, longed “to soar into the blue”. The Greater Journey is itself a masterpiece.

©2011 David McCullough (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2027 )
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4.5 (1616 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Steve Delray Beach, FL, United States 12-27-16
    Steve Delray Beach, FL, United States 12-27-16 Member Since 2016

    I'm always looking for that well written gem.

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    "Want To Understand America? Go To Paris."

    I was amazed at how much Paris has affected so many of our greatest Americans. Our nation, so raw and new in the 1800's had nothing like a Paris to draw such inspiration from. America at that time had no libraries or museums or great universities. At that time if you wanted to be the best at what did you had to go to Paris to learn how to do it. Fortunately for us, Paris was there to fire and inspire our best and brightest and they came back to America and became American Masters.
    David McCullough immerses you in the Parisian experience and leaves you wanting to buy the next ticket to get to the city. Edward Herrmann is, as always, impeccable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Eriksen 12-14-16

    History addict

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    "What a time what a city"

    Of course great writing, never a book by the author but what is terrific reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Pat 10-24-16
    Pat 10-24-16 Member Since 2013
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    "A few of my favorite things."

    This book combines art, science, history and Paris into a wonderfully different view of life. It entertained and expanded my knowledge of American history and artists.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    S. Thurman 10-08-16
    S. Thurman 10-08-16

    JanScott

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    "Excellent"

    As always, McCullough did great research and Edward Herrmann did a great job of reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Diana 10-04-16
    Diana 10-04-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Wonderful!"

    The backstories this novel presents are amazing! Narrator's flawless French added much to my enjoyment!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Archerfish New Hampshire 09-22-16
    Archerfish New Hampshire 09-22-16 Member Since 2015

    archerfish

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    "Another well written biography"

    Collection of stories of Americans who ventured to Paris in the 19th century - artists, doctors, etc. What they brought back from France and what was given in return by many historical figures that I knew little of. Another reminder why traditional history rote memorization of facts is worthless. The author provides such fascinating background information that makes you feel like you know the people involved and the challenges they faced. Worth the price, especially well done by reader Edward Hermann.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Traci Wilton, CT, United States 08-17-16
    Traci Wilton, CT, United States 08-17-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Manages to make life in Paris boring"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, I was bored and finally gave up on the book about three quarters of the way through. I wanted to love it since I am obsessed with history and Paris, but I should have known better since I didn't care for 1776, either. As much as I am fascinated by the subjects and times in history David McCoullough chooses to write about, I find his style too factual and dry. Judging by the high Amazon reviews, I am guessing my opinion is not a popular one, but with this and 1776 I felt as if I was listening to a list of facts from research - I can go to wikipedia for that. I want to hear a a compelling story.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, yawn.


    Do you think The Greater Journey needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I did love the part about doctors working with the poor of Paris and the role doctors and the practice of medicine played in the history of Paris. I would like to read more about that topic.


    Any additional comments?

    .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TSD in Fort Worth 07-26-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Tres Magnifique"

    A stunning and rich series of portraits of American artists, sculptors, inventors, physicians, and other leaders . . . And how their Parisian experiences enriched their lives and their accomplishments. And Eliju B. Washburn is my new humanitarian hero. Thank you, again and again, David McCullough, for all of your books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Cathy Smyth 06-20-16
    Cathy Smyth 06-20-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Great preparation for a trip to Paris!"

    This was a terrific introduction to nineteenth century Paris history as I knew virtually nothing! I made many of the sights I saw on my trip to Paris come alive!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    zachary bahama, NC, United States 05-23-16
    zachary bahama, NC, United States 05-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Fairly interesting, very informative."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend the book to anyone with a passing interest in the 19th century artist and scientist of America, and the role France had to play in their development. In scope it is not on par with 'John Adams' or Truman', but enteretaining.


    Would you be willing to try another book from David McCullough? Why or why not?

    Absolutely. he is one of the best biographer and story tellers today.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    His performance was very good, but for some reason I cannot figure out, part of the narration is done by what sounds like a computerized monotone female voice. Her part of it is very small and poorly done that does make one wonder which why Edward Hermann did not narrate the whole thing? Where they just being cheap??


    Any additional comments?

    overall good. not on par with the greats of David McCollough. Good reader except for small snippets done by monotone computerized female voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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