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Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Politics, Ice Cream, Churchill, and My Motherby Simon Schama
Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times has hailed renowned historian and social commentator Simon Schama as a writer who "entwine[s] past and present into a meaningful, continuous whole." His deeply thoughtful and vastly knowledgeable books such as The Power of Art, The American Future, and the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Rough Crossings have won acclaim for their intellectually rich and entertaining studies of the individuals and influences that have shaped the human condition, from the French Revolution to the political past and future of America, from the power of art to the role of nature in Western civilization.
Now, in this passionate and provocative collection, this brilliant observer brings his keen critical sensibility to a wide range of topics, both broad and intimate. Captivating and informative, Scribble, Scribble, Scribble offers a lighter, playful Simon Schama on a diverse range of subjects, from food and family to Winston Churchill, from Martin Scorsese and Richard Avedon to Rubens and Rembrandt, from his travels in Brazil and Amsterdam to New Orleans and Katrina. This selection of essays—originally published in magazines and newspapers including the New Yorker, Vogue, the New York Review of Books, and the Guardian—is a treasure trove of surprises that highlight Schama's sense of humor, curiosity, and idiosyncrasies. Never predictable, always stimulating, Scribble, Scribble, Scribble allows us to view the world, in all its diversity, through the eyes of one of its most intelligent, witty, and original inhabitants.
"In these lively essays and reportage, Columbia historian Schama (The American Future: A History) turns his omnivorous erudition and warm prose to a vast array of topics. There are incisive historical essays on everything from Europeans' evolving image of the 'Unloved American' to Churchill's oratory and, in a deliciously cruel book review, the 'pigmification of historical scale' in micromonographs. There are meditations on the art of Rembrandt and Richard Avedon; reportage from British and American election campaigns; disdainful commentary on the Bush administration, and a stew to ice cream smorgasbord of foodie articles, recipes included. Schama is essentially the reporter-pundit with a chair in history, illuminating the most contemporary of topics in the buttery glow of historical context. One occasionally wonders whether that licenses him to write about absolutely everything: some pieces misfire — profiles of Martin Scorsese and Charlotte Rampling feel like generic celebrity puffery — and he lacks the distinctive style and outlook that would make you want to follow him all over the map. Still, he approaches every subject with gusto and amusement and, like your favorite professor, always has smart things to say. 8 pages of b&w photos. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Collections of essays don't come any better than this. All readers who like lively writing and good thinking, especially relating to art criticism and history, will enjoy this book." Library Journal
“Schama is a masterful stylist and storyteller.”
“A writer of gorgeous prose.”
The ever erudite, always delightfully curious Simon Schama returns with Scribble, Scribble, Scribble, a wonderful compendium of thirty provocative, witty, enlightening, and stimulating essays previously published but collected in a single volume for the first time. One of our most distinguished historians and commentators, Schama, the acclaimed author of The American Future: A History, explores an amazing diversity of topics—from the political to the personal, from the earth-shaking to the mundane, from ice cream to Churchill to Hurricane Katrina and everything in-between. In Scribble, Scribble, Scribble, Simon Schama opens up his—and our—wide world to us.
About the Author
Simon Schama is a professor of art history and history at Columbia University, and is the author of numerous award-winning books; Rough Crossings, his history of the American Revolution, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction. He is a cultural essayist for the New Yorkerand has written and presented more than thirty documentaries for the BBC, PBS, and the History Channel, including The Power of Art, which won the 2007 International Emmy for Best Arts Programming, and The American Future: A History, now available on DVD.
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