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):
- 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.
- It's simply a fascinating read.