Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University in New York, and was awarded a C.B.E. in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List. Since 1995 he has been art and culture critic for The New Yorker and essayist for The Guardian. His award-winning books include Citizens; Rembrandt's Eyes and the History of Britain trilogy. His most recent book, Simon Schama's Power of Art, was published to critical acclaim in 2006.
If you were expecting a chronological plod through the Nation's portrait history, then try something else. On the other hand if you want a set of dazzling pen portraits equal to the paintings Simon Schama describes then read on. This quickly became one of my favourite reads of the year. I was captivated by the details revealed, the stories of the artists, their models and the history of the times, I loved the fact that it isn't a best of, there are some fine clunkers included – because they are part of the story and reading this you will look at the paintings themselves with a keener eye spotting the details you now know you've always missed. The book has a wide range of illustrations but for the full immersive experience you can read this book, visit the forthcoming National Portrait Gallery's exhibition and watch the BBC2 accompanying 5-part series, well worth doing all three. ~ Sue BakerLike for Like ReadingA Portrait of Britain, Tarnya CooperOxford History of Art: Portraiture, Shearer West
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 1 June 2010. Simon Schama traces the conflicts in Americas history to put 2008, an historic election year, into context.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 18 December 2008. Simon Sharma traces the conflicts in Americas history to put 2008, an historic election year, into context.
From one of the truly preeminent historians of our time, this is a landmark book chronicling the French Revolution. Simon Schama deftly refutes the contemporary notion that the French Revolution represented an uprising of the oppressed poor against a decadent aristocracy and corrupt court. He argues instead that the revolution was born of a rift among the elite over the speed of progress toward modernity and science, social and economic change. Schama's approach, weaving in and out of private and public lives in the fashion of a novel, brings us closer than we have ever been to the harrowing and seductive French Revolution.
With eloquence, wit, passion, and irony, The American Future traces the history of an idea: that of our national destiny.A book of beautiful writing, peppered with wisecracks, slashed with rapier thrusts. Philadelphia InquirerA De Tocqueville for the 21st century, Simon Schama, NBCC Award winning author of Rough Crossings offers an essential, historical, long view analysis of the American character in The American Future. Shama examines four themeswar, race and faith, immigration, and custodianship of the landthrough the prism of the historic 2008 presidential election in a magnificent work that the Wall Street Journal calls a celebration of American resiliency.Niall Ferguson says, I hope Obama will have this book on his bedside table.