Landscape and Memory

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9780002158978: Landscape and Memory

Written by the author of "The Embarrassment of Riches" and "Citizens", this book is about man's search for his cultural origins in the landscape which surrounds him, a search which is as old as civilization itself. Forests, rivers, mountains, islands - what meanings have men invested in them, and how have they in turn shaped men's imaginations? For example, in five opening chapters, Schama shows how each of the great European cultures imagined their woodlands in ways which spoke to their collective needs. In Poland, the last great primeval forest in Europe, the woods represented liberty against the oppression of Russia and Germany. In Germany, they represented the shrine of the Teutonic spirit. In England, justice, the "King's Peace" under the greenwood. In France, order. In America, among the glades of the giant redwoods, the oldest living things in the world, the possibility of making a heaven on Earth.

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From the Inside Flap:

One of Time Magazine's Best Books of the Year

In Landscape and Memory Schama ranges over continents and centuries to reveal the psychic claims that human beings have made on nature. He tells of the Nazi cult of the primeval German forest; the play of Christian and pagan myth in Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers; and the duel between a monumental sculptor and a feminist gadfly on the slopes of Mount Rushmore. The result is a triumphant work of history, naturalism, mythology, and art.


"A work of great ambition and enormous intellectual scope...consistently provocative and revealing."--New York Times

"Extraordinary...a summary cannot convey the riches of this book. It will absorb, instruct, and fascinate."--New York Review of Books

From the Back Cover:

"Marvelously rich and eloquent...Entertaining...Wonderfully learned and perceptive." --The New York Times Book Review

"[Schama's] sinewy prose is everywhere enlivened by an illuminating wit and fueled by a relentless and joyful curiosity...You get the impression he will venture anywhere, intellectually speaking, in pursuit of his historical prey...He's a scintillating guide." --The Globe and Mail

"Fascinating...A potpourri of biography, art history and much else, skillfully blended and handsomely illustrated...Insightful." --Maclean's


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Schama, Simon
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