This book describes the inspiring stories of adventurous American artists (writers, doctors, politicians, architects). These people arrived in Paris between the years 1830 and 1900. They were ambitious and wanted to excel in their field. Most of them had never left home and never experienced new cultures. They weren't guaranteed success. One example is George P. A. Healy, who had little money and little education. He became one of the most famous portrait painters of the day.