"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 sashow more