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Book Review: The Greater Journey

A superb departure gift from a cousin as my family and I moved to France last year, The Greater Journey by David McCullough fulfills for me several roles:
  • pleasure reading (in the midst of an overwhelming amount of other reading in contemporary French literature, postcolonial theory, and linguistics and pedagogy)
  • information on historical Paris
  • information on my cultural past (both French and American), particularly in regard to influential Americans (Samuel Morse, Emma Willard, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Fenimore Cooper) and how they benefited from time they spent living in Paris. (Hey, like me!)
I am thinking of writing an extended chapter-by-chapter review of this superb book by a superb storyteller of the past (he's not of the past, but recounts the past). In the meantime let me give two reasons to read this book (and none not to read, so far as I can tell):
  1. You are an American moving to Paris (or any nationality moving to any other country) for a time and will both discover more about the world and about yourself.
  2. It's simply a fascinating read.


  1. Here's a book by David McCullough I did not even know about (what a prolific writer he is!) Thanks for telling us about this one. Sounds like one I'd be interested in.


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The viewer is led to sympathize with the undocumented man, an honest landscaper who wants nothing but to work hard so that his one son can have a better life. He’s away from home; his wife left him when his son was little; he has next to nothing; when he does acquire something (a lawn business and pickup with equipment) it gets stolen from him. And yet, the movie does not excuse what he does wrong nor does it try to show him as a man victimized and ruined by the consequences of his actions.

Apart fr…


Read this in English.





今週初めて黒澤明の『隠し砦の三悪人』という映画を見ました。この三悪人とは、だれですか? 三船敏郎が演じる真壁六郎太(まかべろくたろう)と二人の百姓です。この3人の登場人物の関係はとても面白くて、全ての人間の弱さも愛される性質も示します。