A Student of History

June 26, 2006

Article on Simon Schama

Filed under: New books,The Academy — John Maass @ 7:06 pm

The Washington Post has an article today about Simon Schama and his new book, Rough Crossings

Professor Simon Schama

I have always liked Schama, though I have read very few of his books.  I did read Dead Certainties, which is a bit of a quirky book but was written “underscores the abyss between experiential knowledge of an event and historical interpretations of it.”  I have enjoyed his history of Britian videos done for the BBC and readily available in the US.  His three-volume set of books designed to accompany the videos are excellent, and very accessible for those not steeped in British history, which I am not.  Schama’s “style” on the videos is very engaging, for which he is to be commended. The style says “I don’t care if other academics shun TV, I like it, I am good at it, and I won’t apologize for the money!”

According to Columbia Univ., where he is a professor,

he is author of Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands 1780-1813 (1977) which won the Wolfson Prize for History; Two Rothschilds and the Land of Israel (1979); The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (1987); Citizens. A Chronicle of the French Revolution (1989) for which he received the major non-fiction prize in the UK, the NCR Prize; the historical novel Dead Certainties (1991) now the subject of a PBS film for The American Experience (broadcast in the summer of 2003); Landscape and Memory (1995) the winner of the W.H. Smith Literary Award; and the student-voted Lionel Trilling Prize at Columbia; Rembrandt’s Eyes (1999); and the trilogy, A History of Britain vol I The Edge of the World (2000); volume 2 The British Wars ,( 2001) and volume 3 The Fate of Empire, (2002).

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