10 Questions for David McCullough

Historian David McCullough discusses the death of letter writing and how Picasso was a big old bore

Alexander Ho for TIME

Your new book, The Greater Journey, is about a bunch of mostly artistic Americans who moved to Paris from 1830 to 1900. Why them?

We know a good deal about the time when Franklin, Adams and Jefferson were in Paris and more than a great deal about Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein. My feeling was that this period brought to France a group who are among the most interesting and important figures in American life. I also feel very strongly that history ought to be seen as a great deal more than just politics and the military.

Who was your favorite character...

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