Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History

Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History

Paperback

By (author) Robert Hughes

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 498 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 201mm x 33mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 30 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0375711686
  • ISBN 13: 9780375711688
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: colour illustrations, colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 217,640

Product description

From Robert Hughes, one of the greatest art and cultural critics of our time, comes a sprawling, comprehensive, and deeply personal history of Rome--as a city, as an empire, and as an origin of Western art and civilization. Starting on a personal note, Hughes takes us to the Rome he first encountered as a hungry twenty-one-year-old fresh from Australia in 1959. From there, he goes back more than two thousand years to the city's foundation, one mired in mythologies and superstitions that would inform Rome's development for centuries. He explores in rich detail the formation of empire, the rise of early Christianity, the Crusades, the Renaissance, and takes us up to the present, through the rise and fall of Mussolini's fascism. Equal parts idolizing, blasphemous, outraged, and awestruck, "Rome" is a portrait of the Eternal City as only Robert Hughes could paint it.

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Author information

Robert Hughes was born in Australia in 1938. Beginning in 1970 he lived and worked in the United States, where until 2001 he was chief art critic for "Time." His books include "The Shock of the New, The Fatal Shore, Nothing If Not Critical, Barcelona, Goya, "and "Things I Didn't Know." He was the recipient of numerous awards and prizes for his work. Hughes died in 2012.

Review quote

"In his engrossing, passionately written new book, "Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History," Robert Hughes, the former art critic for "Time" magazine and the author of critically acclaimed works like "The Fatal Shore," gives us a guided tour through the city in its many incarnations, excavating the geologic layers of its cultural past and creating an indelible portrait of a city in love with spectacle and power . . . The reader need not agree with Mr. Hughes's acerbic assessments or even be interested in Rome as a destination on the map to relish this volume, so captivating is his narrative. Although his book is a biography of Rome, it is also an acutely written historical essay informed by his wide-ranging knowledge of art, architecture and classical literature, and a thought-provoking meditation on how gifted artists (like Bernini and Michelangelo) and powerful politicians and church leaders (like Augustus, Mussolini and Pope Sixtus V) can reshape the map and mood of a city. . . . razor-sharp portraits . . . intriguing asides . . . vigorous, pictorial prose." --Michiko Kakutani, "New York Times" "A fascinating personal history of the Italian capital, "Rome" begins with an exegesis on the founding myth of Romulus and Remus and ends with a rant about how the city has lost its "Dolce Vita"-era glory." --Stephen Heyman, "New York Times Magazine" blog ." . . freewheeling, massive, magisterial . . . It's very much, as billed in the subtitle, a "personal" history--one animated by historical persons and personalities as seen through the personality of the author. . . . our guide conjures up a well-known work of genius and makes it new, moving effortlessly from biography to art to engineering as he illuminates its every detail." --Will Heinrich, "New York Observer" "Ever since Livy dipped his quill and Gibbon marked his proofs, histories of Rome have been a dime a dozen. But there is only one Robert Hughes--only one writer, it's safe to sa