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Extended Audio Sample The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris Audiobook, 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: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9781442344198
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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.

A Special Audio Presentation of Unabridged Selections

Personally Chosen by David McCullough

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. 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.”

Writer Emma Willard, who founded the first women’s college in America, was one of the intrepid bunch.
Another was Charles Sumner, who enrolled at the Sorbonne where he saw black students with the same ambition he had, and when he returned home, he would become the most powerful, unyielding voice for abolition in the U.S. Senate. James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F. B. Morse worked unrelentingly every day in Paris, Cooper writing and Morse painting what would be his masterpiece. From something he saw in France, Morse would also bring home his momentous idea for the telegraph. 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. The genius of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and painter George Healy would flourish in Paris, inspired by the examples of brillant French masters, and by Paris itself.

For this special audio presentation, McCullough has chosen a selection of portraits, excerpted in their
entirety, that bring us into the lives of these remarkable men and women. A sweeping, fascinating story
told with power and intimacy, The Greater Journey is itself a masterpiece. 

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”

    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

  • “From a dazzling beginning that captures the thrill of arriving in Paris in 1830 to the dawn of the 20th 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

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

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marian Ferguson | 2/11/2014

    " A joy to read, somehow lacking in thematic unity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharolyn Griffith | 2/7/2014

    " McCullough write history more like a novel. I learned so much about Americans going to France, and was especially moved by the story of Augustus St. Gaudens. I do think he could have focused more on some of the women, but he did well with Mary Cassat, and I enjoyed the book greatly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glenn Bell | 2/1/2014

    " I like McCullough. Makes history fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kay | 1/14/2014

    " I love the time period and what I learned about the various artists and writers. What a time that must have been and what a sacrifice families made to keep them in Paris, not to mention the risk it took to even get there. Trouble is, there was so much information, each Chapter could have been a book. I was overwhelmed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan McNeeley | 1/9/2014

    " I enjoyed the book, but almost half of it is source notes, acknowledgments, and index. Literally, my Kindle showed 57% progress before the sources notes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Derek Johnson | 12/23/2013

    " Not as compelling as some of his earlier books, but the sections on the artists (Gaudens, Sargent, Cassatt) were especially good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jana | 12/14/2013

    " It's about Paris. What could be better? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher Bindel | 12/13/2013

    " I liked it. it was a good book to read right before my trip to Paris. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie Carruth | 12/12/2013

    " We sometimes think that the Lost Generations of Americans, Hemingway and Fitzgerald, discovered Paris after World War I. This book shows us that from the early 1800s Americans were fascinated by the beauty and culture of Paris.Along with painters and writers, doctors flocked to France for training. They then took their training back to America and created the great teaching hospitals. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Brewer | 12/12/2013

    " I loved this. Learn about the 19th century in France. Things happened I knew noting about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 11/16/2013

    " An interesting account of a number of young American artists who journey to Paris in the mid to late 1800's. While not a fascinating read, it is a well researched, non-fiction description of the artists' lives and achievements will living in Paris. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristine | 10/16/2013

    " What a fascinating book! I marvel at David McCullough's research, his captivating writing style, and his ability to take the reader back in history. Reading McCullough truly makes the past come alive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 9/27/2013

    " Reading McCullough's descriptions of nineteenth century paintings is the next best thing to going to a museum. His descriptions of Paris stirred me wanderlust. I so admire the depth of his scholarship on this topic that is dear to me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joselle | 9/16/2013

    " Not great...Pretty boring actually. I've not read his books before and am not very impressed. Especially after reading glowing reviews. I'd think twice before picking up another. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annalee Storey | 9/7/2013

    " LOVED everything about this book, and never wanted it to end. Simply fascinating, and makes me die to go to Paris again! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rena | 5/18/2013

    " Great book - full of interesting stories about famous and not-so-famous Americans and their lives in Paris during the 19th century. I was disappointed when I finished reading the book. And, if you've been to Paris, it is even better! Highly recommend this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danny Scalise | 2/3/2013

    " McCullough finds a story I never thought I would read. Fascinating story about some American trailblazers and their inspiration in Paris. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James Howald | 6/26/2012

    " Good read. Slow at times, but I found it fascinating. I look at a lot of art differently and it definitely enhanced my recent trip to Paris as well as my view of American art (especially sculpture) since I returned. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawna | 4/6/2012

    " Can't go wrong with a McCullough! Especially with book on tape while driving. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darla Van | 3/5/2012

    " Being a francophone of sorts, this was a fun book to read, and I loved learning about the ex-pats. It was also the perfect companion read to Eiffel's Tower. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maryann | 12/20/2011

    " Really enjoyed this- nonfiction and history of a time period I didn't know as much about. Americans who went to live for a time in Paris "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce | 6/23/2011

    " Edward Herrmann is a great narrator. Fascinating book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 6/18/2011

    " A marvelous history lesson; highly readable! It was a golden era for the arts and humanities in the City of Lights! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allen | 6/16/2011

    " For my review of this book, please see the July/August 2011 edition of The Brooklyn Rail. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Glenda | 6/16/2011

    " Different. More like a history book. It was dry at times, very detailed. But on the positive side it showed how many American artists, writers, politicians and doctors during the 1830s went to France to foster their knowledge of their craft. "

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About the Author
Author David McCullough

David McCullough, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author, has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other acclaimed books are 1776, Brave Companions, The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, and The Greater Journey. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

About the Narrator

Edward Herrmann (1943–2014) was one of America’s top audiobook narrators. He won multiple Earphones and Audie Awards, and his narration of the King James version of the Bible remains a benchmark in the industry.