I don’t even like art. When people mention it, I think of Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, or some such silliness that reminds me more of something that rhymes with “art” but remains nothing but a mephitic stench, foisted upon us by a Ponzi scheme promoted by insecure co-dependents who wish to be seen as IN.
Which is why I am all the more impressed with David McCollough’s latest effort, “The Greater Journey.” He brings an era alive with his prosaic way of writing about history. In doing so, he has made me more appreciative of art.
But this book isn’t only about art. For example, he covers some of the most influential founders of modern American medicine as well. The way he brings in the backdrop of the Franco-Prussian War and its affect upon Americans in Paris is well done. We also learn about Elihu Washburne, whose heroism during this tragic time was nearly forgotten, but whose life in Paris is now relived through McCollough’s story-telling. In this time of foreign tensions and the chic of being anti-American, it’s good to remember people like Washburne who show that Americans can not only rise to the occasion, but can do so in a way that benefits many besides Americans.
Even if you think you have no interest in what Americans did in Paris during the 19th Century, I strongly recommend you read “The Greater Journey” if for no other reason than to experience the pleasure of one of the greatest historians in print today. His manner of bringing you into the story should be the gold standard of all who want to write about history.