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Three Rivers Lecture Series


Photo_of_Simon_Schama. *

Simon Schama


January 8, 1996
(Historians) are left forever chasing shadows,
painfully aware of their inability ever to reconstruct a dead world in its completeness,
however thorough or revealing their documentation.--Simon Schama

In 1989, Simon Schama broke rank with the academic establishment and sparked his own rebellion with the publication of Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution. The bestselling, highly readable history incurred the wrath of Francophiles and challenged the way the past is recounted. Since that time, Schama has revealed his inquisitive mind and stylistic flair in a number of narrative interpretations including The Embarrassments of Riches, Dead Certainties, and the recently published Landscape and Memory.

While historians debate the validity of his books, critics and interviewers search to describe the essence of Schama and his work: "Fizzing with vitality and insight, bubbling over with ideas and perceptions, buzzing with gossip, anecdote and a sense of drama..." (Times Literary Supplement), "Imagine Robin Williams with a highbrow database."(New York)

London-born and Cambridge-educated, Simon Schama since 1966 has taught history at Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard universities. He is currently a professor in the departments of art history and history at Columbia University.


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