The American Future: A History Hardcover – 2 Oct 2008
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Schama has a masterly ability to conjure up character and vivify conflict." (Ben Rogers Financial Times)
"He remains a master storyteller, admirably and sceptically well read in current revisionist histories." (The Times)
"Simon Schama is many things: widely ranging historian, art critic, public intellectual, television don... This ragged, brilliant, hopscotching volume of vaguely connected essays is largely about America's myth of its own exceptionalism" (The Guardian)
"The master storyteller takes on the greatest story of our time, America ... Britain's foremost historian comes to a greater understanding of its present and future. Essential reading" (Sebastian Shakespeare Tatler)
"Schama remains the subtlest of story-tellers... fans of Schama will wish the book were twice as long... What makes this book so bracing is the way Schama shows how unlike itself America has become" (Tom Payne Daily Telegraph)
A more inspiring evocation of the spirit of liberal America - past, present and future - does not exist'See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Familiar events such as the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement are viewed through the lived histories of characters that were there to witness history unfolding - and Schama brilliantly uses letters and diaries to create a real sense of immanence and urgency - rather than just rehashing other historical accounts.
The causes and effects of these epoch changing events, clearly illustrate how America has been shaped - and Schama frequently jumps to the present to address issues that have been ongoing problems in the country - such as immigration. A question he puts to George W Bush at a Downing Street dinner. That is the strength of this book and the main difference between Schama's work and the others. It is not a linear historical narrative - sometimes the writing has the kind of authority of a witness to the events, and at times reads like a novel.
I think Schama's book is written in a very immaginative way that few writers would have dared attempt - moving backwards and forwards through history and the present. But this style allows you to view the history from a different perspective. I highly recommend The American Future.Read more ›
Like the TV series, the book comes in four chapters and follows their respective episodes quite well. But `the more' than Schama offers his readers, as opposed to his viewers results in these chapters being quite long, of one hundred pages or so each. Nevertheless, I read each chapter non-stop, so mesmerising are the stories he has to tell, so skilful the way of their telling. For sure, sometimes Schama lets his pen go too far; long, long sentences of descriptive power, yes, but when he talks of `saltwater taffee vendors' and `limp seersucker jackets', I have to wonder whether he's gone too native. (He informs us that he has lived half his life in the US already.)
This first chapter, `American War', informs us how much history matters. Schama takes us on an epic journey around American attitudes to fighting, from the opposition at the very beginning of the republic's founding, through the Philippines and right up to Abu Ghraib; from West Point to all points north, south, east and west. Did you know that the American has a brief but nasty naval war with the French post-revolution? Or that water torture was practised by US soldiers against Filipino rebels in the 1900s?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I will never know the excellent ideas the author has because of a ratio of seventeen pages of irrelevant, flowery language per nugget of interest. Read morePublished 20 months ago by DaveW
Too wordy and difficult to follow. Read better books on the history of American. Author seemed quiet snidyPublished 22 months ago by Mrs Morag J Jones
I like Simon Schama's TV documentaries so I was expecting this book to be as well-written, interesting and engaging as his television scripts. Sadly it isn't. Read morePublished on 29 Sept. 2013 by Amazon Customer
Many history books give you the narrative - this gives you the understanding behind the story. Gives you a much better grasp of how Americans think and act.Published on 18 May 2013 by Charles Sibthorpe
This book is NOT for the general reader. Every 10th word is one I do not know. The book assumes a lot of prior knowledge, and not just basic knowledge, it assumes a serious and... Read morePublished on 2 May 2013 by JustABookFan
Nobody writes history quite like Simon Schama:
"But when you stepped through the bails of scratchy tumbleweed that had come to rest against the broken fence you could... Read more