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Scribble, scribble, scribble : writings on ice cream, Obama, Churchill and my mother / Simon Schama.

By: Schama, Simon.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Bodley Head, 2010Description: xxiv, 427 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations (some color), portraits ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781847921314 (hbk.); 1847921310 (hbk.).Subject(s): Schama, Simon -- Correspondence | Schama, Simon -- Diaries | Schama, Simon -- Miscellanea | History | Arts | Political science | Travel | CookingDDC classification: 828 Summary: "Cookery is not necessarily a subject one immediately associates with Simon Schama - one of Britain's most distinguished historians and commentators. But this selection of his occasional writings is a treasure trove of surprises. 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 Leonard Cohen and Hurricane Katrina to 'The Fate of Eloquence in the Age of The Osbornes'. 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 original inhabitants."--Publisher's description.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

" Wednesday brought a pungent sheepy smell emanating from the greyish lamb and barley soup my mother optimistically called Taste of the Garden of Eden . Expel me, please. Haddock in the air? That would be Thursday. The faintest whiff of roasting garlic? That would be what my sister and I uncharitably dubbed Friday Night Memorial Chicken ; a venerable object smeared on the breasts with a dab of marmite meant to cheer the bird up as it emerged defeated from the oven. Rattling inside the brittle cavity was that one solitary clove of garlic; the exotic knobble that my mother conceded as a romantic touch amid the iron regimen of her unvarying weekly routine. Cookery is not necessarily a subject one immediately associates with Simon Schama - one of Britain s most distinguished historians and commentators. But this selection of his occasional writings is a treasure trove of surprises. 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 Leonard Cohen and Hurricane Katrina to 'The Fate of Eloquence in the Age of The Osbornes'. Never pred

Includes bibliographical references.

"Cookery is not necessarily a subject one immediately associates with Simon Schama - one of Britain's most distinguished historians and commentators. But this selection of his occasional writings is a treasure trove of surprises. 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 Leonard Cohen and Hurricane Katrina to 'The Fate of Eloquence in the Age of The Osbornes'. 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 original inhabitants."--Publisher's description.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

One expects ups and downs in a collection of occasional pieces such as this, with topics as diverse as current politics, a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth 2, art, cooking, and even one on why an English historian belatedly fell in love with the Boston Red Sox. But Schama (University Professor of Art History & History, Columbia Univ.; The American Future: A History) is such a brilliant writer knowledgeable in so many fields that the downs in this collection are still worth reading and the ups are really up. There is a killer appreciation of philosopher Isaiah Berlin and ferocious essays, that now seem dated, alas, on the manifold failings of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The best offerings are appreciations of the Dutch masters, one on those now somewhat ignored 19th-century prophets John Ruskin and Thomas Carlyle, and a perceptive and amusing essay about the quirky modernist James Ensor, whose work is "one long carnival guffaw at the higher seriousness of modernism." VERDICT Though not all of these pieces are of equal merit, collections of essays don't come any better than this. All readers who like lively writing and good thinking, especially relating to art criticism and history, will enjoy this book. [See Prepub Alert, 11/1/10.]--David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

In these lively essays and reportage, Columbia historian Schama (The American Future: A History) turns his omnivorous erudition and warm prose to a vast array of topics. There are incisive historical essays on everything from Europeans' evolving image of the "Unloved American" to Churchill's oratory and, in a deliciously cruel book review, the "pigmification of historical scale" in micromonographs. There are meditations on the art of Rembrandt and Richard Avedon; reportage from British and American election campaigns; disdainful commentary on the Bush administration, and a stew to ice cream smorgasbord of foodie articles, recipes included. Schama is essentially the reporter-pundit with a chair in history, illuminating the most contemporary of topics in the buttery glow of historical context. One occasionally wonders whether that licenses him to write about absolutely everything: some pieces misfire-profiles of Martin Scorsese and Charlotte Rampling feel like generic celebrity puffery-and he lacks the distinctive style and outlook that would make you want to follow him all over the map. Still, he approaches every subject with gusto and amusement and, like your favorite professor, always has smart things to say. 8 pages of b&w photos. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Historian Schama has erudite fun in this robust collection of essays on subjects ranging from the maiden transatlantic voyage of the Queen Mary 2 to Picasso's obsession with Rembrandt, Isaiah Berlin, and Bolognese sauce. He kicks things off with a frolicking introduction, tracing his love of journalism to a class visit to a newspaper, a wizard's den redolent of cheap cigarettes and printers' ink. He also bemusedly recounts such journalistic adventures as reviewing classical music, about which he knew nothing, to impress the editor's curvy daughter, and founding an opinion journal. For Schama, cultural journalism is a holiday from the rigors of history, but even when he's playing, he writes so perspicaciously and knowledgeably that to immerse oneself in his historical fluency, phosphorescent observations, and sinuous sentences is like deep-sea diving along a tropical coral reef. Here are complex portraits of cities, bracing views on the Divided States of America, a brilliantly chilling look at why anti-Semitism thrives on the web, and an inquiry into the lost art of oration. What Schama calls scribbles, we call pearls.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist