Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History

Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History


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: 196,109

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

"Engrossing, passionately written. . . . A guided tour through the city in its many incarnations." --"The New York Times" "Exhilarating. . . . History as portrait gallery . . . painted with unforgettable sharpness. . . . This is vintage Hughes." --Simon Schama, "Newsweek" "Ambitious, [a] panoramic paean. . . . Reading ["Rome"] is like being taken around the Eternal City . . . by an entertaining, erudite, opinionated acquaintance with a gift for storytelling." --Francine Prose, "The New York Times Book Review " "Sweeping. . . . [A] feast of information, opinion and fascinating detail. . . . With typical bravado, wit and rage, he puts art and architecture in sharp social, political, religious and historical context." --"Los Angeles Times " "Eloquent. . . . An original, persuasive take on the Eternal City." --"The New York Review of Books" " " "Vigorous. . . . Razor-sharp. . . . An indelible portrait of a city in love with spectacle and power. . . . Although [Hughes'] 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...and powerful politicians and church leaders ...can reshape the map and mood of a city." --"The New York Times" "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. . . . Reading his strenuous, argumentative, vitally impassioned prose you are reminded just how insipid, prim, and nervously conventional most history and art history writing is. . . . So although the ostensible subject of his book is the Eternal City, the real "tour d'horizon" it offers is a walking tour of the hard-structured, brightly lit, and capacious expanse that is the Hughes brain." --"Newsweek" " " "Hughes has a taste for big subjects. . . all intricately rooted in formativ