David McCullough on Americans in Paris

Monday, June 06, 2011

David McCullough tells the untold story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and thinkers who set off to work in Paris between 1830 and 1900, and how their achievements there profoundly altered American history. The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris tells the stories of these pioneers, including Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America; James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F. B. Morse; pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk; Oliver Wendell Holmes; writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James; and painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, among others.


David McCullough

Comments [3]

David Leopold

I concur with Tom. Hirschfeld, like so many others went to Paris because of its affordability and its acceptance. You could be anyone and do almost anything in Paris, and all for pennies a day. Hirschfeld's studio rent (to be split in thirds) was $33 a year. And it was Paris, with its beauty, art, etc.

Jun. 08 2011 02:43 PM
Amy from Harrington Park, NJ

I think Mr. McCullough's assertion that Americans did not choose Europe out of a dissatisfaction or disenchantment with the US is misleading. Certainly, the ultimate expat, Henry James (who eventually became a British citizen) was very ambivalent about his native country's lack of respect for the arts and its devotion to progress and change.

Jun. 06 2011 01:47 PM
tom from astoria

Al Hirschfeld roomed with two other artists in Paris, for a few $ a month. He said that it was the extreme affordabliity of Paris that made it great for artists -- they could focus on art work rather than making money. What of New York today?

Jun. 06 2011 01:40 PM

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