Nationally renowned author David McCullough is making his only Maine appearance this summer Saturday, Aug. 13, hosted by the Camden Public Library. He will be introducing and signing his latest book, “The Greater Journey — Americans in Paris.”

McCullough’s early afternoon Book Talk at the Camden Opera House is completely sold out and there is no waiting list. After the talk, beginning around 3 p.m., he will be at the Camden Public Library for a signing; purchase of his new book will be required. Pre-signed books will be available at the Owl & Turtle Bookshop in the Knox Mill complex.

One of America’s most honored and beloved historians, McCullough tells the enthralling, stirring — and 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.” McCullough, who has twice won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, chronicles the experiences, 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 including 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 such as 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 remarkably diverse, yet they all shared one thing aside from their nationality — ambition to excel in work that mattered greatly to them.

“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,’” writes McCullough.

For more information regarding the event, visit or call 236-3440.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to