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Acclaimed historian and award-winning author Simon Schama offers an essential historical perspective on the crucial 2008 presidential election and its importance for reclaiming America's original ideal. It's not business as usual. Cultural hostilities more irreconcilable than any since the Civil War have divided America in two. In November 2008, the American people elected a new president, feeling more anxious about the future of the nation than at any time since Watergate. Our omnipotent military, the cornucopia of material comforts available, the security of our borders, and the global economy can no longer be taken for granted. In The American Future, historian Simon Schama takes a long look at the multiple crises besetting the United States and asks how these problems look in the mirror of time. In four crucial debates--on wars, religion, race and immigration, and the relationship between natural resources and prosperity--Schama looks back to see more clearly into the future. Full of lost insights, The American Future showcases Schama's acclaimed gift for storytelling, ensuring these voices will be heard again.
Schama, an acclaimed historian and award-winning author, offers an essential, outsider's perspective on the crucial 2008 presidential election and its importance for reclaiming America's original ideal.
Instead of the dying Old Regime, Schama presents an ebullient country, vital and inventive, infatuated with novelty and technology -- a strikingly fresh view of Louis XVI's France.
Dead Certainties goes beyond more conventional histories to address the deeper enigmas that confront a student of the past. In order to do so, Schama reconstructs -- and at times reinvents -- two ambiguous deaths, that of General James Wolfe in 1759 and George Parkman in 1849.
In a brilliantly inventive work, bestselling author Simon Schama explores the enigma of 17th-century Holland, a nation that attained an unprecedented level of affluence, yet lived in constant dread of being corrupted by prosperity.
The second volume of Simon Schama's A History of Britain brings the histories of Britain's civil wars -- full of blighted idealism, shocking carnage, and unexpected outcomes -- startlingly to life. These conflicts were fought unsparingly between the nations of the islands -- Ireland, England, and Scotland -- and between parliament and the crown. Shattering the illusion of a "united kingdom," they cost hundreds of thousands of lives: a greater proportion of the population than died in the First World War. When religious passion gave way to the equally consuming passion for profits, it became possible for the pieces of Britain to come together as the spectacularly successful business enterprise of "Britannia Incorporated." And in a few generations that business state expanded in a dizzying process that transformed what had been an obscure, off-shore footnote to Europe's great powers into the main event -- the most powerful empire in the world.
If you were black in America at the start of the Revolutionary War, which side would you want to win? When the last British governor of Virginia declared that any rebel-owned slave who escaped and served the king would be emancipated, tens of thousands of slaves fled from farms, plantations, and cities to try to reach the British camp. A military strategy originally designed to break the plantations of the American South had unleashed one of the great exoduses in U.S. history. With powerfully vivid storytelling, Schama details the odyssey of the escaped blacks through the fires of war and the terror of potential recapture, shedding light on an extraordinary, little-known chapter in the dark saga of American slavery.
For Schama, the neglect of African American experiences -- at the time of the American Revolution -- is particularly regretful because within the fires of that conflict one can locate an important episode in the struggle for black freedom. He describes how African-American slaves by the thousands responded to the British offer of emancipation by escaping from their plantations and making the arduous journey northward to Canada. He also describes how authorities on both sides of the war responded to this phenomenon as they struggled to gain advantage in the war.
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 this magnificently illustrated cultural history--the tie-in to the pbs and bbc series The Story of the Jews--simon schama details the story of the jewish people, tracing their experience across three millennia, from their beginnings as an ancient tribal people to the opening of the new world in 1492It is a story like no other: an epic of endurance in the face of destruction, of creativity in the face of oppression, joy amidst grief, the affirmation of life despite the steepest of odds.It spans the millennia and the continents--from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It takes you to unimagined places: to a Jewish kingdom in the mountains of southern Arabia; a Syrian synagogue glowing with radiant wall paintings; the palm groves of the Jewish dead in the Roman catacombs. And its voices ring loud and clear, from the severities and ecstasies of the Bible writers to the love poems of wine bibbers in a garden in Muslim Spain.In The Story of the Jews, the Talmud burns in the streets of Paris, massed gibbets hang over the streets of medieval London, a Majorcan illuminator redraws the world; candles are lit, chants are sung, mules are packed, ships loaded with gems and spices founder at sea.And a great story unfolds. Not--as often imagined--of a culture apart, but of a Jewish world immersed in and imprinted by the peoples among whom they have dwelled, from the Egyptians to the Greeks, from the Arabs to the Christians.Which makes the story of the Jews everyone's story, too.
Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most popular and dramatic stories.It begins on a muddy English road in an atmosphere charged with mystery and it ends in the Paris of the Revolution with one of the most famous acts of self-sacrifice in literature. In between lies one of Dickens's most exciting books--a historical novel that, generation after generation, has given readers access to the profound human dramas that lie behind cataclysmic social and political events. Famous for its vivid characters, including the courageous French nobleman Charles Darnay, the vengeful revolutionary Madame Defarge, and cynical Englishman Sydney Carton, who redeems his ill-spent life in a climactic moment at the guillotine ("It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done"), the novel is also a powerful study of crowd psychology and the dark emotions aroused by the Revolution, illuminated by Dickens's lively comedy.With an Introduction by Simon SchamaFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
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