New York Times bestselling author David McCullough won two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. From 1830 to 1900, many gifted young Americans, ambitious to excel, spent time in Paris -- time which changed their lives and thus the course of American literature, medicine, art, architecture, music and dance. As David McCullough writes, "Not all pioneers went west. " This book is a powerful narrative of those who had the initiative, courage, and sense of adventure to engage in a new experience not just for their own improvement, but to benefit their country.
Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2011: At first glance, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris might seem to be foreign territory for David McCullough, whose other books have mostly remained in the Western Hemisphere. But The Greater Journey is still a quintessentially American history. Between 1830 and 1900, hundreds of Americans--many of them future household names like Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mark Twain, Samuel Morse, and Harriet Beecher Stowe--migrated to Paris. McCullough shows first how the City of Light affected each of them in turn, and how they helped shape American art, medicine, writing, science, and politics in profound ways when they came back to the United States. McCullough's histories have always managed to combine meticulous research with sheer enthusiasm for his subjects, and it's hard not to come away with a sense that you've learned something new and important about whatever he's tackled. The Greater Journey is, like each of McCullough's previous histories, a dazzling and kaleidoscopic foray into American history by one of its greatest living chroniclers. --Darryl Campbell