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Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Politics, Ice Cream, Churchill, and My Mother Paperback – 3 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 405 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco Pr; Reprint edition (3 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062009877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062009876
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,293,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

In this passionate and provocative collection, the brilliant Simon Schama reveals his lighter, mo....

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Kitchen with Simon 13 April 2011
By takingadayoff - Published on
Format: Paperback
As historian, art critic, political commentator, essayist, biographer, and amateur cook, Simon Schama can be interesting on any number of topics. The essays in this volume are mostly from the past ten years, but there are a few from as early as 1979. They first appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The New York Review of Books, and the London Review of Books. Some of the pieces appeared as chapters in anthologies, or as essays for theater programs and exhibition catalogs. Some were speeches he gave.

Schama is above all a historian, so I shouldn't have been surprised to find his historical essays a little too scholarly for my short attention span. On the other hand, I enjoyed many of the pieces on movies and art. It was fun reading how director Martin Scorcese caught him off guard by citing Kind Hearts and Coronets as an inspiration for Goodfellas. Then Schama had to scramble to give himself a crash course in horror film history when Scorcese described his other inspirations over the years.

One thought-provoking essay was about Richard Avedon's photographs. Although the book includes some illustrations to go with the art essays, Schama talked about several photographs that weren't included. His descriptions were so vivid that I had to find the images online to see for myself. They really were fascinating, and now I have become an Avedon fan, thanks to Schama.

Schama mentioned a few times in his food essays that he used Julia Child's book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I just read a book of letters between Child and her friend and editor, Avis DeVoto (As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto), in which they discuss at length the details of the book that Child was writing. The idea was to translate French recipes into recipes that would work in American kitchens with ingredients available in America using American appliances. Schama, cooking in an English kitchen, must have had to translate the recipes yet again to accommodate English ingredients and appliances. I can imagine how many ways this could have gone wrong, but Schama seems to have succeeded.

Schama manages to be educational, infuriating, amusing, thought-provoking, and just plain interesting. Recommended!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommending Schama 14 Nov. 2011
By Happy cook - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simon Schama's Scribble, Scribble, Scribble is an excellent collection of newspaper articles on various subjects. From traveling, Sail Away: Six Days to New York on the Queen Mary 2 published in the New Yorker, 31 May 2004 to cooking, My Mother's Kitchen Observer Food Magazine, 11 October 2009 his insight and humor make this a delightful and refreshing book.
Schama was selected as the honored guest at the fifth annual Kenyon Review Literary Festival.He was the recipient of the 2011 Kenyon Review Award for Literay Achievement.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Literary Menagerie 17 Aug. 2011
By Iosephus Bibliothecarius - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Historian Simon Schama has a wide range of interests and a flowing pen which combine beautifully and to great effect in his latest book, a collection of articles and book reviews spanning three decades. Whether you are interested in art, history, travel, cooking, or politics, it's all here in Schama's wonderfuly descriptive and award-winning style. Here's to hoping there's a second collection in the works!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We need a Renaissance. 13 April 2014
By Michael Turner - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Simon Schama is trying to start a renaissance, and wants to enlist all of us. So he writes about art, history, politics, growing up in the 20th century, ice cream, and gets us to see that a full person, an educated person, cares about many aspects of living, and allows their opinions and feelings to evolve with experience. Reading any of Schama's works is an experience, but reading this book allows me to take part in several different experiences over his career, and reminds me that aspects of my own life, like what, I eat, what I read, what I care about, are also worth thinking about and being ready to discuss.
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book of essays 15 April 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Schama has written a readable and interesting book of essays on a variety of topics. As always, his prose and narrative style are unsurpased especially when writing about his mother, cooking, and food. A man of many talents and pursuits with a genius intellect, he does not always take himself seriously, is willing to point up his foibles and quirks as well as his successes. Having recently been captivated by his PBS series, The Story of the Jews, and now reading Scribble, I have become a dedicated fan and recommend him highly to the intellectually curious.
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