Schama, Simon 1945–

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Schama, Simon 1945–

(Simon Michael Schama)

PERSONAL:

Born February 13, 1945, in London, England; immigrated to United States, 1980; son of Arthur Osias (a textile merchant) and Gertrude Clare Schama; married Ginny Papaioannou (a professor of genetics); children: Chloe, Gabriel. Education: Christ's College, Cambridge University, B.A., 1966, M.A., 1969. Hobbies and other interests: Claret, the music of Schubert, Red Sox baseball, spring bulbs, Brazilian music, Blues, Middle Eastern and Indian cooking.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510-1806. Office—Department of History, Fayerweather Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Christ's College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, director of studies in history, 1966-76; Oxford University, Oxford, England, 1976-80, tutor in history and lecturer; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Erasmus Lecturer in the civilization of the Netherlands, 1978, professor of history, Mellon Professor of Social Sciences and senior associate, Center for European Studies, 1980-93; Columbia University, New York, NY, professor of history and art history, 1994—. New Yorker magazine, New York, NY, art critic, 1995-98.

MEMBER:

American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Brasenose College of Oxford University (fellow), Maatschappij voor Nederlandse Letterkunde.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Wolfson Literary Prize for History, Wolfson Foundation, 1977, and Leo Gersloy Memorial Prize, American Historical Association, 1978, both for Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands, 1780-1813; NCR Book Award for Nonfiction, NCR Ltd., and Yorkshire Post Book of the Year designation, both 1990, both for Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution; Guggenheim fellow, 1983-84; W.H. Smith Literary Prize, and American Academy of Letters Literary Award, both 1995, both for Landscape and Memory; named Scholar of the Year, New York Council for the Humanities, 1998-99; W.H. Smith Book Award for general knowledge, 2000, for A History of Britain; named honorary fellow, Christ's College Cambridge.

WRITINGS:

(Editor, with Eric Homberger and William Janeway) The Cambridge Mind: Ninety Years of the Cambridge Review, 1879-1969, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1970.

Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands, 1780-1813, Knopf (New York, NY), 1977, Vintage (New York, NY), 1992.

Two Rothschilds and the Land of Israel, Knopf (New York, NY), 1979.

The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, Knopf (New York, NY), 1987.

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Knopf (New York, NY), 1989.

Dead Certainties (Unwarranted Speculations) (historical novella), Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.

Landscape and Memory, Knopf (New York, NY), 1995.

Rembrandt's Eyes, Knopf (New York, NY), 1999.

A History of Britain, Hyperion (New York, NY), Volume 1: At The Edge of the World, 3500 BC-AD 1603, 2000, Volume 2: The Wars of the British, 1603-1776, 2001, Volume 3: The Fate of Empire, 1776-2000, 2003.

Hang-Ups: Essays on Painting (Mostly), BBC Books (London, England), 2004.

Simon Schama's Power of Art, BBC Books (London, England), 2006.

Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution, Ecco (New York, NY), 2006.

Also author of BBC television series based on his own books, including Landscape and Memory, A History of Britain, produced with the History Channel, 2001, Rough Crossings, 2003, and The Power of Art, 2006. Contributor of articles, essays, and criticism to magazines and newspapers, including Granta, New Republic, New York Times, New Yorker, Times Literary Supplement, and Independent; contributor to books, including Beat: Anya Gallaccio, Tate Publishing (London, England), 2002, and John Virtue: London Paintings, National Gallery (London, England), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS:

Simon Schama has combined extensive historical scholarship with his interest in both literature and the fine arts to produce a succession of unique and sometimes controversial volumes of narrative history. Rather than confining himself to specialization within a distinct historical period or place, Schama focuses on the process by which nations form cohesive identities, and on the manner in which individuals become "citizens." Despite finding himself at the center of controversy over his idiosyncratic approach to history, Schama has received widespread professional recognition, and his books have broad popular appeal.

Schama's Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands, 1780-1813, a lengthy volume born of ten years of research in Dutch historical archives and requiring Schama's mastery of the Dutch language, recounts the period during which a loosely knit federation of independent Dutch provinces transformed itself into the United Netherlands under King William I. Most specifically, Schama deals with the French occupation of Holland during that period of French expansion between the Revolution of 1789 and the onset of the Napoleonic Wars. "Anyone aroused by the idea of history or by the spectacle of human complication will by no means be wasting the time it takes to read through this intelligent, analytical narrative," wrote Raymond A. Sokolov in the New York Times Book Review.

The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age is a vivid portrait of seventeenth-century Holland's social culture and an enlightened look at the moral dilemma of Dutch society—a conspicuous consumption at odds with the restraints imposed by the Calvinist gereformeerde Kerk. Called "an event in historical studies" by Jonathan Israel in the Times Literary Supplement, The Embarrassment of Riches analyzes one of the most creative and efflorescent periods in European history remarkable for such things as an immense outpouring of Dutch burgher art and the tulip mania of 1636. Schama paints with detailed brushstrokes, using as his medium the many outward manifestations of inner conflicts between material wealth and moral piety unique to this epoch. He uses contemporary art and literature as primary source material, bypassing such exceptional works as those of Rembrandt, Vermeer, de Groot, and Spinoza for works more characteristic of Dutch society at large.

Reviewing The Embarrassment of Riches for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Johan Pieter Snapper distilled Schama's approach, writing that he "sees the essence of 17th-century Dutch society as a multi-layered structure of cultural paradoxes that the surprising Dutch transformed into a delicate polarity." Snapper also remarked: "Unfortunately, he tends to turn his insightful perception of the dual (practical and ethical) exercise of Dutch wealth into a paradigm for all other aspects of that society as well. Every image has a counter image, every picture a reflection, every thesis an antithesis. His conclusions, therefore, while persuasively drawn in many instances, tend to lose their impact in overstatement."

In The Embarrassment of Riches, Schama defends his intent in focusing upon "those social and mental traits that tied Dutch men and women together rather than separated them" and so diverges from the Marxist-inspired approach that reduces historical events to "class struggle." While expressing some reservations about the assumptions upon which Schama grounds his thesis, Israel praised the book for its ability to recreate the energy of the Dutch Golden Age: "It is an immensely compelling book which brings out, often with rare discernment, the flavour and peculiarity of a host of facets and traits of Dutch culture which other historians and art historians have missed, ignored, or had less of a feel for."

More traditional in scope than his other works, Two Rothschilds and the Land of Israel is Schama's testament to the contribution made by Edmund de Rothschild and his son, James, towards the creation of a Jewish community in Palestine. The colonization efforts by the Rothschilds, begun in the 1880s and continued into the 1930s, led to the actualization of the modern state of Israel. The book was inspired by an informal seminar on Jewish social and intellectual history that Schama presented while a teacher at Cambridge during the 1960s and 1970s and is based on Schama's research—through the cooperation of James's widow, Dorothy de Rothschild—in the archive of the Palestine Jewish (Israelite) Colonization Association (P.I.C.A). Robert Kirsch reviewed the book in the Los Angeles Times: "This is not a history of Zionism, nor even … complete biographies of the two Rothschilds…. But it is a fascinating account of the dedication of father and son."

Schama's epic, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, was published to coincide with the French bicentennial celebration of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. The critical acclaim that Citizens received upon publication catapulted it onto national bestseller lists, a rare achievement for a volume of history of such length and complexity. One reason for the book's popular appeal is the colorful narrative its author employs. "Citizens is an argument told in the form of a story, which as a historian you're not supposed to be doing anymore," wrote Paul Galloway in Chicago's Tribune Books, reflecting the reservations of some critics. Robert M. Maniquis expressed concern over what he called "fast and loose analogizing," noting in the Los Angeles Times Book Review that Schama "confuses the issue and for many readers he may even diffuse the importance of past horrors in historical cliches disguised as just another good story." Historian Lawrence Stone, although critical of both the lack of reference notes and the book's vague ideological basis, stated in New Republic: "The very great virtues of this book do not lie in its profound insights, or in the truth of the underlying premise, or in the depth of the research, but rather in the coruscating brilliance of Schama's style, his dazzling display of erudition and intelligence, his unusual stress on the sheer ferocity and brutality of the events." Richard Cobb, noted with fellow historian Alfred Cobban for his revisionist interpretation of the Revolution, lauded Schama in the London Times: "This is the most marvelous book I have read about the French Revolution in the last 50 years."

Citizens is much more than merely a colorful and dramatic tale. Perceiving the "liberal" historical view of the Revolution as the "crucible of modernity" to be at variance with reality, Schama prefaces the book with the contention: "The Revolution begins as a great exercise in patriotic rejuvenation and it ends as the greatest imperial, aggressive war state that Europe has seen for many hundreds of years." Citizens refutes much of the mythology surrounding the Revolution and locates its origins in the resistance mounted by the clergy and nobility to Louis XVI's efforts at developing a modern market economy rather than in peasant disaffection with the existing feudal structure. Schama contends that the Revolution interrupted the natural defeudalization occurring at the same period in England and the American colonies, that in fact the Revolution impeded a trend toward modernization born of the Enlightenment and established human rights only to subsequently repress them. This position places Citizens squarely in the center of a debate about the legacy of the revolution that has been going on for over two centuries. While some historians have categorized his position as "conservative," the book is considered a "revisionist" history by many reviewers.

"To those who insist that to prosecute is not the historian's job, one may reply that neither is a selective forgetfulness practiced in the interest of scholarly decorum," Schama asserts in Citizens. In his close examination of the violence that both ended France's "ancient regime" and became the public policy of Jacobin extremists during the Terror of 1793, he discerns no Revolutionary aim justifying the murder of over forty thousand people. Eugen Weber wrote in the New York Times Book Review that Schama "reminds us that [Revolutionary] power depended on intimidation: the spectacle of death. Violence was no aberration, no unexpected skid off the highway of revolution: it was the Revolution—its motor and, for a while, its end."

Schama broke from restrictions imposed by writing "history" with the publication of Dead Certainties (Unwarranted Speculations). In this historical novella, Schama juxtaposes the deaths of General James Wolfe at the Battle of Quebec in 1759 and the murder of George Parkman that precipitated the arrest, conviction, and execution of a professor of Boston's Harvard Medical College in 1850. "It is a tour de force of storytelling, but is it history?," asked Gordon S. Wood in the New York Review of Books, viewing Schama's foray into quasi-fictional narrative as an abrogation of his responsibility as "historian." Schama reconciled his position between "historian" and "novelist," telling Missy Daniel in Publishers Weekly: "I wanted the sense that the past comes at one in unpredictable ways, with varying degrees of sharpness; to somehow find a text that would do that." But Wood objected, saying that "Schama cannot have it both ways. He cannot write fiction and still assume that it will have the authenticity and credibility of history." He maintained that readers "are never sure which is which, and therefore come to doubt the truthfulness of the whole."

Dead Certainties is the creative vehicle by which Schama illustrates the historian's function, not merely to accumulate historical fact but also to perform the subjective process by which the past is brought back to life in terms of the present. He writes in the book's "Afterword" that 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. Of course, they make do with other work: the business of formulating problems, of supplying explanations about cause and effect. But the certainty of such answers always remains contingent on their unavoidable remoteness from their subjects. We are doomed to be forever hailing someone who has just gone around the corner and out of earshot."

Schama's Landscape and Memory marked another departure for him. Instead of examining and analyzing a particular historical era, the oversized volume presents a thesis, or rather a group of them, and ranges throughout history to gather supporting evidence. The central theses of Landscape and Memory debunk conventional wisdom on at least two counts. First to suffer the assault of Schama's pen is the idea that Man and Nature are distinctly separate entities; rather, the historian-cum-poet argues that the human world and the natural world have always been inextricably intertwined but that our perceptions of nature are thoroughly culturally determined. Second, Schama makes a point that flies in the face of a view considered politically correct by the contemporary environmental movement: namely, the vision of Nature as pristine and Man as its despoiler, particularly over the last hundred years. Schama's own vision proposes that the interactions between humankind and the landscapes of the natural world have existed since time immemorial, and despite the reality of despoliation that relationship has often proved beneficial to both.

Yet Schama's undertaking in Landscape and Memory represents more than a list of propositions bolstered by a sum of evidence to support them. In a broader sense the book is a reflection upon and a celebration of the relationship between the human species and nature that is distinctly illuminated by Schama's far-reaching knowledge and artistic sensibility. As with the historian's other books, critical response to the volume was a curious mixture of awe and enthusiasm combined with occasional carping directed at Schama's unconventional approach to the writing of history. Richard Wilson of History Today noted: "Others will spot mistakes in the footnotes, quibble about details of interpretation, and object to the vauntedly subjective nature of Professor Schama's approach, but few can doubt that this will turn out to be one of the most memorable and enjoyable of the recent ‘big’ books." Summing up the achievement of Landscape and Memory in the New Republic, Anthony Grafton stated: "Schama mounts a formidable scholarly expedition into the bright heart of the Construct Called Nature. He carries the reader in space from Egypt to Yosemite, in subject matter from ancient stone cult images to Anselm Kiefer's all-too-modern scorched books, in time from the second millennium BC to the present. He examines an enormous range of individuals, telling their stories easily and vividly." Judging the worth of the book in the same article, Grafton concluded: "Unclassifiable, inimitable, sometimes irritating and often fascinating, Landscape and Memory will inform and haunt, chasten and enrage, its readers. It is that rarest of commodities in our cultural marketplace, a work of genuine originality."

Eric Gibson, writing in the National Review, saw Landscape and Memory as "a tour de force of insights, connections, and revelations," while John Elson remarked in Time: "In sharing the past, Schama does not merely dramatize history, he personalizes it as well…. Such intimate touches do not detract from the cosmic scope of Landscape and Memory; they are grace notes in what deserves to become a classic." In contrast, commenting on the same personal nature of the book, an Economist reviewer declared: "Because Landscape and Memory reflects Mr. Schama's personality, it is far more than a dry academic tome. Because that personality is dazzling and magpie-like, it is a collection of marvelous parts. Alas, as a whole, it is less than the sum of them."

Schama's biographical study, Rembrandt's Eyes, both portrays the life of the great seventeenth-century Dutch master and provides an exploration of his art. The title is derived from Schama's use throughout the book of the appearance of the eyes in Rembrandt's self-portraits as a means of interpreting the artist's state of mind. Like Schama's other books, Rembrandt's Eyes is a storehouse of historical detail rendered in a dense and imagistic style. "Schama's immense, luxurious, and richly contextual portrait of Rembrandt," commented Donna Seaman in Booklist, "is not strictly a biography. Instead, like his groundbreaking Landscape and Memory, it is a creative synthesis of history, aesthetics, and spirituality." Albert Mobilio, writing for Fortune, praised the depiction of the book's setting, post-Reformation Amsterdam: "Schama portrays this culture with rich sensory acuity," and went on to parallel Seaman's assessment by stating: "Equal parts aesthetic meditation, biography, and art criticism, Rembrandt's Eyes is cultural history at its best." Discussing the book's interpretation of the art of Rembrandt in Library Journal, Robert Cahn observed: "Schama not only comes to grips with the core of the oeuvre but also passionately and insightfully exposes Rembrandt's extraordinary innovations of traditional genre formulae and proffers a subtle and vigorous appreciation of the manipulation of paint so central to the work's expressive essence." Cohn felt that "Schama's is the best synthesis available of the Dutch master's life and will be required by all collections." Steven Henry Madoff of Time proclaimed, "what a triumph of scholarship and imagination!," while Seaman concluded: "Schama chronicles the ups and downs of Rembrandt's life in vivid detail, and engages so passionately and brilliantly with his paintings and their startling departures from tradition, [that] Rembrandt and his masterpieces seem to be reborn."

Schama has adapted a number of his books for television. Some, including his "The History of Britain" series, were planned as print and media projects from the onset. Jeremy Black critiqued the first installment of the television series in History Today, writing: "If you don't know about the history of Britain (or rather of what became Britain), there is indeed much here to fire your excitement. This is one of the best-produced historical series I have ever seen on television." The first volume, At the Edge of the World, 3500 BC-AD 1603, begins by covering the three thousand years of pre-Roman Britain, the Iron Age, Norman Conquest, War of the Roses, Reformation, and the reign of Elizabeth I, whose death ends the volume. Schama writes of the effects of various historic events on British society, including the Black Death of the fourteenth century. He also provides little-known information, including the fact that Saint Patrick was not Irish but "a Romano-British aristocrat," that at six hours the Battle of Hastings was one of the longest medieval battles, and that Hadrian's wall was not a fortress but a fence designed to control the passing of men and goods. "This new volume is a model of literate elegance, enlivened by good humor and bursts of pugilistic directness," commented a Publishers Weekly critic.

The second volume, The British Wars, 1603-1776, covers a much shorter period of history, but one that includes the emergence and growth of the Empire. It begins with the ascendency of the Stuart dynasty and ends halfway through the Hanoverian era, with, of course, a focus on Britain's wars, including the civil wars of the 1640s, Cromwell era, Glorious Revolution of 1688, Jacobian uprisings, Anglo-French conflict in America, American Revolution, and the eighteenth-century conflicts involving the East India Company. Booklist reviewer Brad Hooper concluded his review by writing that "Schama reincarnates both famous personalities and not-so-famous figures in his wide and deep reconstruction of British life."

The Fate of the Empire, 1776-2000 concludes the series. Schama concentrates on that part of the Empire that includes the more volatile India and Ireland, with less attention paid to Australia and Canada, and none to New Zealand. He comments on the 1857 Sepoy Revolt in India and the devastating famines of Ireland. Robert Forrest commented in the National Observer: "At times Schama tends to rely on the ‘great man (or woman)’ view of history reminiscent of Thomas Carlyle. Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill and George Orwell have a great many pages devoted to them. This may be a consequence of the volume being based on a television series and therefore compelled by that medium to concentrate on individuals to the detriment of other subjects." Schama does feature many women, including Victorian pioneers, such as photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and Dr. Elizabeth Garrett, who fought for social reforms that would help the poor, and devotes a generous portion of the volume to the changing role of women. Beginning with the French Revolution, he covers the "back to nature" movement initiated by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as well as the philosophies of radical revolutionaries who included Thomas Paine and Mary Wollstonecraft. A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote: "Renowned historian Schama has done it again with the third and final volume of this magnificent work, displaying his gift for combining scholarship and grace in a highly accessible narrative."

Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution was planned in conjunction with the two hundredth anniversary of the abolition of British slavery in 1807. At that time, Thomas Jefferson signed a bill that only outlawed the importation of slaves. The book is the story of thousands of escaped slaves who fought with the British in hopes of gaining their freedom. Time reviewer Richard Lacayo, who described this book as being "nuanced, fair-minded and beautifully written," also wrote: "In Schama's book, it's the Crown that holds out the promise of liberty, the patriots who would take it away." After the war, most of the promises made to the slaves by the British were kept. When Washington demanded that they be returned, a British officer in New York sent three thousand slaves to Nova Scotia. Nearly a decade later, more than a thousand accepted an offer of land in Sierra Leone, a colony founded by British abolitionists, where for a short period in the late 1790s women were allowed to vote and the former slaves enjoyed self rule. "Schama places the struggles of British Freedom and his fellows in the broader context of the American War, the early movement for the abolition of the slave trade and the broader black experience within the late eighteenth-century British empire," wrote David Armitage in History Today.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Scholar, autumn, 2006, Adam Goodheart, review of Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution, p. 135.

Booklist, April 1, 1995, Donna Seaman, review of Landscape and Memory, p. 1363; October 15, 1999, Donna Seaman, review of Rembrandt's Eyes, p. 406; September 15, 2000, Donna Seaman, review of A History of Britain, Volume 1: At The Edge of the World, 3500 BC-AD 1603, p. 187; August, 2001, Brad Hooper, review of A History of Britain, Volume 2: The Wars of the British, 1603-1776, p. 2048; February 15, 2006, Vernon Ford, review of Rough Crossings, p. 4.

Books & Culture, May-June, 2006, Mark Noll, review of Rough Crossings, p. 19.

Economist, May 6, 1995, review of Landscape and Memory, p. 84; August 27, 2005, review of Rough Crossings, p. 66.

Fortune, December 6, 1999, Albert Mobilio, review of Rembrandt's Eyes, p. 78.

History Today, August, 1996, Richard Wilson, review of Landscape and Memory, p. 55; December, 2000, Jeremy Black, review of A History of Britain, Volume 1: At the Edge of the World, 3500 BC-AD 1603 (television episode), p. 56; October, 2005, David Armitage, review of Rough Crossings, p. 54.

Insight on the News, May 15, 1995, Witold Rybczynski, review of Landscape and Memory, p. 25.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2006, review of Rough Crossings, p. 223.

Maclean's, April 24, 1995, John Bemrose, review of Landscape and Memory, p. 67.

Library Journal, October 15, 1999, Robert Cahn, review of Rembrandt's Eyes, p. 68; November 1, 2000, Richard Koss, review of A History of Britain, Volume 1: At the Edge of the World, 3500 BC-AD 1603, p. 108; March 15, 2006, Bryan Craig, review of Rough Crossing, p. 83.

Los Angeles Times, January 12, 1979, Robert Kirsch, review of Two Rothschilds and the Land of Israel.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, June 14, 1987, Johan Pieter Snapper, review of The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, p. 12; May 21, 1989, Robert Maniquis, review of Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, p. 4.

Nation, May 22, 1995, Gregory McNamee, review of Landscape and Memory, p. 727.

National Observer, July, 2004, Robert Forrest, review of A History of Britain, Volume 3: The Fate of Empire, 1776-2000, p. 71.

National Review, July 31, 1995, Eric Gibson, review of Landscape and Memory, p. 59.

New Criterion, September, 2006, Marc Arkin, review of Rough Crossings, p. 129.

New Republic, April 17, 1989, Lawrence Stone, review of Citizens, pp. 35-38; August 7, 1995, Anthony Grafton, review of Landscape and Memory, p. 37.

New Statesman & Society, Patrick Curry, review of Landscape and Memory, p. 37.

Newsweek International, March 8, 2004, Susan H. Greenberg, "Interview: Double Loyalties; Historian Simon Schama May Be Better Known in His Native England, but He Prefers Living and Working in a Bigger Pond," p. 33.

New York Review of Books, June 27, 1991, Gordon S. Wood, review of Dead Certainties (Unwarranted Speculations), p. 12.

New York Times Book Review, May 15, 1977, Raymond A. Sokolov, review of Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands, 1780-1813, p. 16; March 19, 1989, Eugen Weber, review of Citizens, pp. 1, 31, 33; July 27, 2003, Fareed Zakaria, review of A History of Britain, Volume 3: The Fate of Empire, 1776-2000.

Publishers Weekly, May 17, 1991, Missy Daniel, "PW Interviews: Simon Schama: His New Book is a Provocative Departure for the Noted Historian", pp. 46-47; March 6, 1995, review of Landscape and Memory, p. 48; September 25, 2000, review of A History of Britain, Volume 1: At The Edge of the World, 3500 BC-AD 1603, p. 96; August 6, 2001, review of A History of Britain, Volume 2: The Wars of the British, 1603-1776, p. 69; December 23, 2002, review of A History of Britain, Volume 3: The Fate of Empire, 1776-2000, p. 58; March 6, 2006, Adam Hochschild, review of Rough Crossings, p. 56.

Spectator, October 13, 2001, Blair Worden, review of A History of Britain, Volume 2: The British Wars, 1603-1776, p. 52.

Time, April 24, 1995, John Elson, review of Landscape and Memory, p. 73; December 6, 1999, Steven Henry Madoff, review of Rembrandt's Eyes, p. 120; May 8, 2006, Richard Lacayo, review of Rough Crossings, p. 185.

Times (London, England), May 25, 1989, Richard Cobb, review of Citizens.

Times Literary Supplement, November 20, 1987, Jonathan Israel, review of The Embarrassment of Riches, p. 1267.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), April 2, 1989, Paul Galloway, review of Citizens, p. 6.