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Download The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, by David McCullough Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,566 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David McCullough Narrator: David McCullough, Edward Herrmann Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Now in paperback, the New York Times bestseller from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough—the inspiring, enthralling story of the American painters, writers, sculptors, and doctors who journeyed to Paris between 1830 and 1900.

After risking the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, these Americans embarked on a greater journey in the City of Light. That they achieved so much for themselves and their country profoundly altered American history.

Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America, was one of this intrepid band. Another was Charles Sumner, who would become the most powerful, unyielding voice for abolition in the U.S. Senate, almost at the cost of his life.

Writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James were all “discovering” Paris, marveling at the treasures in the Louvre, or out with the Sunday throngs strolling the city’s boulevards and gardens. “At last I have come into a dreamland,” wrote Harriet Beecher Stowe, seeking escape from the notoriety Uncle Tom’s Cabin had brought her.

McCullough tells this sweeping, fascinating story with power and intimacy, bringing us into the lives of remarkable men and women. The Greater Journey is itself a masterpiece.

“An epic of ideas as well as an exhilarating book of spells…this is history to be savored rather than sprinted through, like a Parisian meal.” —The New York Times Book Review

“McCullough’s skill as a storyteller is on full display.…The idea of telling the story of the French cultural contribution to America through the eyes of a generation of aspiring artists, writers, and doctors is inspired…a compelling and largely untold story in American history.”

The Seattle Times

“A gorgeously rich, sparkling patchwork, eliciting stories from diaries and memoirs to create the human drama McCullough depicts so well.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An epic of ideas, as well as an exhilirating book of spells...This is history to be savored.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A lively and entertaining panorama...By the time he shows us the triumphant Exposition Universelle in 1889, witnessed through the eyes of such characters as painters John Singer Sargent and Robert Henri, we share McCullough’s enthusiasm for the city and his affection for the many Americans who improved their lives, their talent, and their nation by drinking at the fountain that was Paris.” 

    Washington Post

  • “For more than forty years, David McCullough has brought the past to life in books distinguished by vigorous storytelling and vivid characterizations...Wonderfully atmospheric.” 

    Los Angeles Times

  • “From a dazzling beginning that captures the thrill of arriving in Paris in 1830 to the dawn of the twentieth century, McCullough chronicles the generations that came, saw, and were conquered by Paris...The Greater Journey will satisfy McCullough’s legion of loyal fans...it will entice a whole new generation of Francophiles, armchair travelers, and those Americans lucky enough to go to Paris before they die.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “There is not an uninteresting page here as one fascinating character after another is explored at a crucial stage of his development...Wonderful, engaging writing full of delighting detail.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “McCullough’s skill as a storyteller is on full display...The idea of telling the story of the French cultural contribution to America through the eyes of a generation of aspiring artists, writers, and doctors is inspired...a compelling and largely untold story in American history.” 

    Seattle Times

  • “McCullough has hit the historical jackpot...A colorful parade of educated, Victorian-era American travelers and their life-changing experiences in Paris.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This splendid production of McCullough’s history of Americans in Paris in the 1800s gives the royal treatment to one of our nation’s most esteemed historians—and most identifiable voices...Edward Herrmann’s sterling voice is compatible with McCullough’s familiar syntax and manner of inflection...The text itself is prismatic, moving through a cast of representative figures that include novelists, painters, and physicians—many well known, many obscure...This is popular history at its best.”


  • “McCullough’s research is staggering to perceive, and the interpretation he lends to his material is impressive to behold.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A highly readable and entertaining travelogue of a special sort, an interdisciplinary treat from a tremendously popular Pulitzer Prize–winning historian...Highly recommended.” 

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “An ambitious, wide-ranging study of how being in Paris helped spark generations of American genius...A gorgeously rich, sparkling patchwork.” 

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Amy | 2/18/2014

    " I am a big fan of the author - have read nearly everything - and this was a favorite. It offers a unique perspective on the 19 the century with portraits of so many people you've heard of - who is that again? - and want to remember. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ccboswell | 2/3/2014

    " A great book! Worth reading twice if visiting Paris. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Spencer | 1/21/2014

    " David McCullough is probably my favorite author, so it pains me to only give this book 3 stars. In reality, it's probably 3.5 stars, and I would had rated it higher if I didn't have such high expectations for McCullough's books. (His books "The Great Bridge" and "Truman" are both in my top five favorite books ever). Having said all that, this was still a very enjoyable and incredibly readable book. The book shares many mini-biographies of Americans who spend time studying, apprenticing, living, working, etc., in Paris during the 19th century. Stories are told of famous painters, sculptors, authors, doctors, thinkers, etc. that were positively influenced by their experiences in Paris. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the doctors and the advanced (for the time) training they received in France compared to what was available in the States. The chapters on the unsettled political revolts in France were also very interesting, and covered a time period I had not read anything about before. My one critique on this book is that the overall flow of the book was a little choppy. Meaning, there wasn't a solid overall storyline, but rather a collection of short biographical stories, that sometimes did not all fit well together. Still, a very enjoyable book that I enjoyed, but I would recommend several of McCullough's other books as being much better than this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kristie | 1/18/2014

    " Another great work by McCullough. This book instantly transports you to Paris in a time where American's were fascinated with it's art, culture and general way of life. The book reads like a novel, which is no easy task for non-fiction. The characters are instantly brought to life as the story of why they journeyed to Paris is unveiled. I found myself lost in their lives and longing for an experience such as theirs. "

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