Vintage £9.99 (400pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The American Future, By Simon Schama
Friday 24 July 2009
The Jiminy Cricket lookalike who pops up on virtually a daily basis to explain America for the BBC is Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. Schama talks – and writes – a blue streak.
No wonder he can offer such insight into the tidal verbosity of the current president: "Listen to me, says Obama, check out my Cicero, my measured cadence, now legato, now staccato."
Treating American history as a temporal skating rink, Schama zips back and forth, exploring the civil war and then the evangelical attack on slavery that played a part in igniting the conflict.
Occasionally, the figure of Schama intrudes. His buttonholing of George Bush at a reception ("Your policy on immigration is about the only policy I've agreed with") induces sympathy for the former president. This gung-ho work is wholly in tune with its subject.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Paul Scholes: Manchester City were so good against Liverpool I felt like turning the television off
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 4 Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
- 5 Hello Kitty is not a cat after all
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >