Thursday Special at Friends: David McCullogh’s “The Greater Journey”

This book is on the New York Times Non-fiction Best Seller list right now.  The USA price: $37.50.  Yours for $12.oo in the Friends of Libraries Bookstore at the Columbus Public Library. It goes on sale Thursday, 8/4/2011, at 2 p.m., which is when I begin my two-hour shift.

I know this because I am bringing it with me.  How new is this copy? It has been read once. By me. Do I recommend it? If you care about American history, yes.  When a book by McCullough or Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of the outstanding Lincoln history Team of Rivals,  comes out, I buy it.  It doesn’t matter which subject they write about.  To me, they are that good. They know how to bring history to life.

As the cover flap reads, “The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring – and until now, untold – story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.”

What I liked about it most was the new information it gave me. For instance, I didn’t know that Samuel F,.B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, an invention that changed the world, was a celebrated American painter who spent a great deal of his time painting in the Louvre,  the most famous art museum in the world.  I was there on my trip to Paris in 1955.  I spent probably a half-hour checking out the timeless masterpieces. I was young and things more exciting to the young appealed to me at that time.

I heard McCullough say on C-span’s weekend non-fiction books program that history is not just about wars and politicians, though it seems that is what most history books are about. There need to be more histories about the other great moments in history, and that was one thing that inspired him to write this book.  I thought the same thing about too much attention given to wars years ago.

So if you want a great deal on the latest book by the author of the Pulitzer Prize  winning Truman and John Adams, and other acclaimed books such as 1776, Brave Companions, The Great Bridge, and the Johnstown Flood, come to the Friends bookstore Thursday when it goes on sale at 2 p.m.  Of course, while there you can pick up some other great bargains since most hardbacks run between $1 to $3, and all paperbacks are $.50.   The proceeds go to Chattahoochee Valley Libraries. See you at the bookstore.


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