Best Selling Books by Simon Schama

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Landscape and Memory

release date: Jan 01, 1996
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Landscape and Memory
Explores the treasury of myths that have transformed the landscape of Western culture.

Rough Crossings

release date: Sep 28, 2017
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Rough Crossings
Simon Schama's extraordinary novel in a new stage adaptation by Caryl Philips. As the American War of Independence reaches its climax, a plantation slave and a British Naval Officer embark on an epic journey in search of freedom. Divided by barriers of race but united in their ambitions for equality, their convictions will change attitudes towards slavery forever. Sweeping from the Deep South of America to the scorched earth of West Africa, Rough Crossings is a compelling true story that marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. Rough Crossings was staged by Headlong Theatre Company which opened at Birmingham Rep in September 2007 and toured the Lyric Hammersmith, Liverpool Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

The American Future

release date: May 19, 2009
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The American Future
“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 Inquirer A 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 themes—war, race and faith, immigration, and custodianship of the land—through 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.”

Citizens

release date: Jan 01, 1990
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Citizens
Explores the French Revolution in terms of the vitality and infatuation with technology that motivated French citizenry toward change and the conflicting, strained economics frustrating their visions for France

The Embarrassment of Riches

release date: Jan 01, 1988
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The Embarrassment of Riches
Describes the cultural and social milieu of seventeenth-century Holland, where, despite great material wealth and general prosperity, an "anxiety of superabundance" permeated all aspects of the culture

Wordy

release date: Aug 20, 2020
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Wordy
A wide-ranging collection of essays written by the award-winning writer and historian over his forty-year career, chosen by the man himself.

Dead Certainties

release date: Jan 01, 1992
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Dead Certainties
A study of two true stories of violent death, each linked to a tragic Boston Brahmin family, explores the nature of history and how history is created

The Power of Art

release date: Nov 07, 2006
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The Power of Art
"Great art has dreadful manners," Simon Schama observes wryly at the start of his epic and explosive exploration of the power, and whole point, of art. "The hushed reverence of the gallery can fool you into believing masterpieces are polite things; visions that soothe, charm and beguile, but actually they are thugs. Merciless and wily, the greatest paintings grab you in a headlock, rough up your composure, and then proceed in short order to re-arrange your sense of reality. . . ." With the same disarming force, The Power of Art propels us on an eye-opening, breathtaking odyssey, zooming in on eight extraordinary masterpieces, from Caravaggio's David and Goliath to Picasso's Guernica. Jolting us far from the comfort zone of the hushed art gallery, Schama closes in on intense make-or-break turning points in the lives of eight great artists who, under extreme stress, created something unprecedented, altering the course of art forever. The embattled heroes—Caravaggio, Bernini, Rembrandt, David, Turner, Van Gogh, Picasso and Rothko—each in his own resolute way, faced crisis with steadfast defiance, pitting passion and conviction against scorn and short-sightedness. The masterpieces they created challenged convention, shattered complacency, shifted awareness and changed the way we look at the world. With vivid storytelling and powerfully evocative descriptive passages, Schama explores the dynamic personalities of the artists and the spirit of the times they lived through, capturing the flamboyant theatre of bourgeois life in Amsterdam, the passion and paranoia of Revolutionary Paris, and the carnage and pathos of Civil War Spain. Most compelling of all, The Power of Art traces the extraordinary evolution of eight "eye-popping" world-class works of art. Created in a bolt of illumination, such works "tell us something about how the world is, how it is to be inside our skins, that no more prosaic source of wisdom can deliver. And when they do that, they answer, irrefutably and majestically, the nagging question of every reluctant art-conscript . . . 'OK, OK, but what's art really for?'"

Citizens

release date: Jan 01, 1989
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Citizens
This award-winning, worldwide bestseller is an authoritative social, cultural and narrative history of the French Revolution.

The Story of the Jews Volume Two

release date: Oct 24, 2017
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The Story of the Jews Volume Two
In the second of two volumes of 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, spanning from their expulsion from Spain during the Inquisition across six hundred years to the present day. It is a story like no other: an epic of endurance against destruction, of creativity in the face of oppression, joy amidst grief, the affirmation of life against the steepest of odds. It spans the centuries and the continents—from the Iberian Peninsula and the collapse of “the golden age” to the shtetls of Russia to the dusty streets of infant Hollywood. Its voices ring loud and clear, from the philosophical musings of Spinoza to the poetry written on slips of paper in concentration camps. Within these pages, the Enlightenment unfolds, a great diaspora transforms a country, a Viennese psychiatrist forever changes the conception of the human mind. And a great story unfolds. Not—as often imagined—of a people apart, but of a Jewish culture immersed in and imprinted by the peoples among whom they have dwelled. Which, as Simon Schama so brilliantly demonstrates, makes the story of the Jews everyone’s story, too. The Story of the Jews Volume 2 features 24 pages of color photos, numerous maps, and printed endpapers.
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