Today is Quatorze Juillet – July 14th– French National Day. I don’t know if it is just a coincidence that we are reading a book about Americans discovering France and Paris. (The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by McCullough)
I am enjoying the book a lot, although the writing style is more historical than “artful”. I have been to France several times, including Paris. And although I have not discovered France from the perspective of an American, it was still just as “big” of an experience.
McCoullough mentions Alexis de Toqueville’s account of America quite frequently and I think it may be fun to choose this as our next read for the book club. Turning the tables, sort of speak.
Also, a few things that may be worth discussing, that occurred to me while reading the forst 5o pages of our book:
– does all the novelty about France (as described in the book) come from Americans’ limited experience to other cultures or is it truly a culture that supersedes time and knowledge?
– how Americans felt that they were treated kindly and preferentially back then, in comparison to today’s opinions ;
– France was an empire and a super power for many centuries. Is France still a major player at the world table today?
– what comes first into mind when you hear the words ” France” or “French”?
I am sure that we will have a great discussion and I am looking forward to enjoying some French ambiance and some fois gras ( if they serve it).
Vive la France, Vive la Liberte!