07/14/2011 12:47 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

David McCullough On 'Colbert Report': Why So Many Americans Fled To Paris

Historian David McCullough, author of the new book "The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris," appeared on the "Colbert Report" last night to discuss why so many young Americans in the 19th century left their country to move to Paris. “There were no schools of architecture here,” he said, adding that “medical training in this country was woefully behind. Most American doctors had never been to medical school.”

When Colbert asked what exactly America gained from these young thinkers who went to France, McCullough replied by listing the contributions they made in the fields of literature, architecture, photography and medicine. But perhaps the most valuable concepts brought back, McCullough stated, was "a very important idea about treating African Americans the way we treat everybody else.” In short, he said, “it changed us.”


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