CAMDEN — Nationally renowned author David McCullough will be the special guest of the Camden Public Library at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Camden Opera House. He will discuss his new book, “The Greater Journey – Americans in Paris.” Tickets are required.
After his talk, McCullough will be available to sign books at the Camden Public Library. This will be McCullough’s only appearance in Maine. Complete event information, including information on how to purchase tickets to the book talk, is available through the Camden Public Library’s website at http://www.librarycamden.org/ , or by calling the library at 236-3440.
McCullough, one of America’s most honored and beloved historians, tells the until now largely untold story of three generations of talented young Americans who traveled to Paris in the 19th century seeking excellence, the ways they were changed and the ways they changed their country, in “The Greater Journey — Americans in Paris.” McCullough, who has twice won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, chronicles the experiences, the struggles and achievements of artists, writers, architects, doctors, educators, politicians and inventors against the panoramic backdrop of one of the world’s most enchanting cities at the height of its splendor and influence, and through some of the most dramatic episodes of its history.
Many of his central figures are well known, such as James Fenimore Cooper, Samuel F. B. Morse, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Charles Sumner, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Others are nearly forgotten today — Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician in the United States; Elihu Washburne, the American ambassador who indelibly documented the horrors of the Siege of Paris and the Commune revolt; and William Wells Brown, a fugitive American slave who became the first black American novelist and playwright. Their fields, their temperaments and their interests were diverse, yet they all shared one thing aside from their nationality. As McCullough writes: “They were ambitious to excel in work that mattered greatly to them, and they saw time in Paris, the experience of Paris, as essential to achieving that dream — though, to be sure, as James Fenimore Cooper observed when giving his reasons for needing time in Paris, there was always the possibility of ‘a little pleasure concealed in the bottom of the cup.’”