Customer Reviews for

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

Average Rating 3.5
( 337 )
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5 Star

(114)

4 Star

(65)

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(78)

2 Star

(41)

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(39)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

110 out of 113 people found this review helpful.

Fascinating

Ever since I picked up "John Adams", I have been an avid fan of David McCullough. His biography of Harry Truman is perhaps the best one I've ever read. McCullough has a knack for taking people or things that perhaps have escaped the popular limelight (such as the Panama...
Ever since I picked up "John Adams", I have been an avid fan of David McCullough. His biography of Harry Truman is perhaps the best one I've ever read. McCullough has a knack for taking people or things that perhaps have escaped the popular limelight (such as the Panama Canal or the Brooklyn Bridge) and writes a completely captivating history of them. You do not simply read a McCullough book, you experience it. When I first heard that McCullough was penning a new work focusing on the impact that Parisian life had on Americans of the 19th century, I was quite excited to say the least. And when I was offered the chance to do a pre-release review of The Greater Journey, I was thrilled and jumped at the opportunity. McCullough did not disappoint. "The Greater Journey" varies in focus from his other works. While the majority of his previous books have focused on political and engineering aspects of American history, "The Greater Journey" instead highlights many of the artistic influences of American history (Adams, Jefferson and Franklin get barely a mention). Although working with a large cast of characters such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mary Cassatt, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Harriet Beecher Stowe, McCullough spotlights a few in more detail. Although Samuel F. B. Morse is more widely known for inventing the telegraph, McCullough spends more time discussing Morse's artistic work in the Louvre. Augustus Saint-Gaudens, sculptor of such memorials as the Farragut, Sherman and Robert Gould Shaw Memorials, was greatly influenced by his time in Paris. Of particular interest to me was the account of Elihu Washburne's efforts during the Franco-Prussian War to protect French, American and German citizens. With each of these and others, McCullough writes of how their time in Paris influenced their artistic abilities or, as was the case with Charles Sumner, their political/humanitarian views. When I first heard of the subject matter of the book, I wasn't sure it would be as interesting as McCullough's other works that dealt with more sweeping changes such as 1776. But while watching an interview of McCullough about the book, he made a statement that convinced me otherwise. He said "History is much more than just politics and generals. History is about life. History is human. And music, art, literature, poetry, theatre, science, the whole realm of the human spirit is all part of history." As captivating and readable as his other books, "The Greater Journey" offers a unique glimpse of the more cultural side of American history and the huge role Paris life played in shaping this culture. (5/5 stars)

posted by Eskypades on May 23, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

133 out of 231 people found this review helpful.

E-Book Prices Do Not Make Sense

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who finds it unbeleivable that the e-book prices are not lower. Six months ago, you could purchase the popular bestsellers for $9.99; now, they are selling for $12.99. The main reason I purchased a Nook was because I felt it would pay...
I'm glad that I'm not the only one who finds it unbeleivable that the e-book prices are not lower. Six months ago, you could purchase the popular bestsellers for $9.99; now, they are selling for $12.99. The main reason I purchased a Nook was because I felt it would pay for itself because of the significant price differential for e-books. It's almost getting to the point where it makes sense to buy the hardback books at Costco again.

posted by CraigMcK on May 18, 2011

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Worth EVERY penny

    Worth EVERY penny! A real page turner filled with incredible history that lets your imagination go wild

    26 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    This book opened my eyes to a period in history that was heretofore missing regarding Paris. Until David McCullough described the myriad of Americans that furthered their skills as Doctors, Artists, artisans and statesman, I was ignorant of what Paris meant to so many Americans.

    As he has done in his many Historical novels, his research and ability to express himself, manifests his genius

    Jack Vax
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2011

    Well worth the time and money.

    This book is not light reading, particularly the section about the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune. My interests include history, art, and France, and I learned something about each of these things through this book. McCullough does an excellent job of presenting the savagery which stains French history as well as reinforcing our image of Paris as an icon of culture and delicacy.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    Wonderful!

    Great insight about some of our famous artists! Makes me want to go to Paris more! Written like his other books, you have to love history!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    A GREAT Read!!!!!

    Well written, engrossing information. The sections on Morse and Cooper absolutely riveting. McCullough said this is the book he always wanted to write, and believe me, it shows.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    $20 for an ebook! Bought this as a used book for less than $11

    $20 for an ebook!
    Bought this as a used book for less than $11.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    General ebooks

    No, I refuse to pay more than $9.99 for an ebook.
    Anything more is a rip off!!!

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Nightclaw

    Im going to bed now. 'Night.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Nightpelt

    "Thrushfang!" He walked over to his friend. Then he walked back. "Rosethorn, do you know when the kits will be here?"-Nightpelt

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    Posted October 9, 2011

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