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Books by Simon Schama

  • A History of Britain

    Simon Schama

    Product Code: BIPNN
    Paperback
    The final stage of Simon Schama's epic voyage around Britain spans centuries, crosses the breadth of the empire and covers a vast expanse of topics - from the birth of feminism to the fate of freedom. The Fate of the Empire asks crucial questions about the nature of empire, journeying from celebrations of industrial and imperialist power at the Great Exhibition, to the catastrophic Irish potato famine and the Indian Mutiny. Through the military and economic shocks and traumas of our past, Schama asks the question that is still with us - is the immense weight of our history a blessing or a curse, a gift or a millstone around the neck of our future? This third and final volume in the series is a vast compelling history, made more so by the lively storytelling and big bold characters at the heart of the action. But alongside flamboyant heroes, like Nelson and Churchill, Schama recalls unsung heroines and virtually unknown enemies. Alongside the grand ideas, he exposes the grand illusions that cost untold lives.
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  • A History of Britain

    Simon Schama

    Product Code: BIPNL
    Paperback
    Change - sometimes gentle and subtle, sometimes shocking and violent - is the dynamic of Simon Schama's unapologetically personal and grippingly written history of Britain, especially the changes that wash over custom and habit, transforming our loyalties. What makes or breaks a nation? To whom do we give our allegiance and why? And where do the boundaries of our community lie - in our hearth and home, our village or city, tribe or faith? What is Britain - one country or many? Has British history unfolded 'at the edge of the world' or right at the heart of it? Schama delivers these themes in a form that is at once traditional and excitingly fresh. The great and the wicked are here - Becket and Thomas Cromwell, Robert the Bruce and Anne Boleyn - but so are countless more ordinary lives: an Irish monk waiting for the plague to kill him in his cell at Kilkenny; a small boy running through the streets of London to catch a glimpse of Elizabeth I. The first in a series, this volume paints a rich and vivid portrait of the life of the British people and their nation.
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  • A History of Britain

    Simon Schama

    Product Code: BIPNI
    Paperback
    Simon Schama explores the forces that tore Britain apart during two centuries of dynamic change - transforming outlooks, allegiances and boundaries. From the beginning of July 1637, battles raged on for 200 years - both at home and abroad, on sea and on land, up and down the length of burgeoning Britain, across Europe, America and India. Most would be wars of faith - waged on wide-ranging grounds of political or religious conviction. But as wars of religious passions gave way to campaigns for profit, the British people did come together in the imperial enterprise of 'Britannia Incorporated'. The British Wars is a story of revolution and reaction, inspiration and disenchantment, of progress and catastrophe, and Schama's evocative narrative brings it vividly to life.
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  • Rough Crossings

    Simon Schama

    Product Code: BHMNR
    Paperback
    Rough Crossings is the astonishing story of the struggle to freedom by thousands of African-American slaves who fled the plantations to fight behind British lines in the American War of Independence. With gripping, powerfully vivid story-telling, Simon Schama follows the escaped blacks into the fires of the war, and into freezing, inhospitable Nova Scotia where many who had served the Crown were betrayed in their promises to receive land at the war's end. Their fate became entwined with British abolitionists: inspirational figures such as Granville Sharp, the flute-playing father-figure of slave freedom, and John Clarkson, the 'Moses' of this great exodus, who accompanied the blacks on their final rough crossing to Africa, where they hoped that freedom would finally greet them.
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  • The Power of Art

    Simon Schama

    Product Code: ATPPY
    Paperback
    'Great art has dreadful manners...' Simon Schama observes at the start of his epic 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, "Power of Art" jolts us far from the comfort zone of the hushed art gallery, as 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 for ever. The embattled heroes - Caravaggio, Bernini, Rembrandt, David, Turner, Van Gogh, Picasso and Rothko - faced crisis with steadfast defiance. The masterpieces they created challenged convention, shattered complacency, shifted awareness and changed the way we look at the world. With powerfully vivid story-telling, 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, "Power of Art" traces the extraordinary evolution of eight 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?'
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  • The Story of the Jews

    Simon Schama

    Product Code: AKZDI
    Paperback
    It is a story like no other: an epic of endurance against destruction, of creativity in oppression, joy amidst grief, the affirmation of life against the odds. It spans the millennia and the continents - from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It is a story 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.
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  • Patriots and Liberators

    Simon Schama

    Product Code: AHKJA
    Paperback
    A reissue of Simon Schama's landmark study of the Netherlands from 1780-1813, this is a tale of a once-powerful nation's desparate struggle to survive the treacheries and brutality of European war and politics. Between 1780 and 1813 the Dutch Republic - a country once rich enough to be called the cash till of Europe and powerful enough to make war with England - was stripped of its colonies, invaded by its enemies, driven to the edge of bankruptcy, and, finally, reduced to becoming an appendage of the French empire - an appendage not even the French seemed to value overmuch. Out of these events Simon Schama has constructed a gripping chronicle of revolution and privateering, constitutions and coups, in a tiny nation desperately struggling to stay afloat in a sea of geopolitics. Like his classics 'The Embarrassment of Riches' and 'Citizens', 'Patriots and Liberators' combines a mastery of historical sources with an unabashed delight in narrative. The result confirms Schama as a historian in the finest tradition - one whose study of the past reveals volumes about the present. This is one of our most revered historians' greatest works, and this new Perennial edition will reintroduce his genius to a new generation of readers.
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  • Scribble, Scribble, Scribble

    Simon Schama

    Product Code: ACADE
    Paperback
    Passionate, provocative, entertaining and informative, "Scribble, Scribble, Scribble" ranges far and wide: from cookery and family to Barack Obama, from preaching and Shakespeare to Victorian sages, from Charlotte Rampling and Hurricane Katrina to 'The Fate of Eloquence in the Age of The Osbournes'. Never predictable, always stimulating, "Scribble, Scribble, Scribble" allows us to view the world, in all its diversity, through the eyes of one of Britain's best-loved public intellectuals.
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  • The American Future

    Simon Schama

    Product Code: AACVC
    Paperback
    In November 2008, the United States elected a new President. But the collapse of twenty years of Republican conservativism means the country is already conducting an intense self-examination about the trajectory of its history; how it came to find itself in multiple crises and how an America that began as 'the last best hope for mankind' came to be so suspected and vilified around much of the world. "The American Future: A History", written by an author who has spent half his life there, takes the long view of how the United States has come to this anguished moment of truth about its own identity as a nation and its place in the world. In each of the chapters devoted to the most compelling issues facing Americans now - the projection of power ('American war'); race, immigration and the problematic promise of e pluribus unum ('American skin'); the intensity of religious conviction in public life ('American fervour'); the mystique of American land ('American Space') and its battles with the imperatives of profit - Schama traces the deep history of the present crisis. Cumulatively the chapters build into a history of American exceptionalism - the 'American difference' that means so much to its people but which has led it into calamities as well as triumphs. "The American Future: A History" argues that if you want to know what is truly at stake, you need to absorb these stories and understand this history - for understanding is the condition of hope.
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