The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris
“Not all pioneers went west.”
I will confess that my 2013 OTR Reading Program was excessively optimistic!! It is October; only two months to go before 2013 will be replaced by the 2014 OTR Reading Program. I am taking the “unread” books with me for they are simply too good to leave behind. In the meantime, here is an update on my latest readings.
I first met (via reading) David McCullough a few years ago when I read “Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870 – 1914,” which was described as the “national bestselling epic.” Released in 1978, it won the National Book Award, the Francis Parkman Prize, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award and the Cornelius Ryan Award. And it won the OTR Award for one of the best books I have ever read.
David McCullough is first and foremost a storyteller. He weaves and integrates stories within stories, unlocking a time portal that holds all the dramas, comedies, and tragedies that life has to offer. Dates, locations, names take on the vibrancy of the present so that the reader is an active participant within the halls of an almost forgotten history.
“The Greater Journey – Americans in Paris,” which was released May 15, 2012, was the account of the audacious Americans who set sail for Paris during the tumultuous years of 1830 – 1900. Paris was where art, science, medicine and philosophy were at their peak. It was simply the best place to obtain an education. I was amazed by the number of people who made the hazardous journey across the ocean, yet their rewards were worth the risk. What they gained during their time abroad profoundly altered American history. Perhaps it is time to return to Paris…
“George P.A. Healy: “I knew no one in France, I was utterly ignorant of the language, I did not know what I should do when once there; but I was not yet one-and-twenty, and I had a great stock of courage, of inexperience – which is sometimes a great help – and a strong desire to be my very best.”
“David McCullough, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris