Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Most Impossible Book

Jacques Barzun once observed that of all the books it is impossible to write, the most impossible is a book trying to capture the spirit of America (I first read this truth when I was three-quarters of the way through my own attempt). Schama has assigned himself a mission impossible. No one should wish a Brilliant Book upon any other human. And at least we can say that while Simon Schama, the Man of Brilliance, comes away from this book bruised and limping, at least Simon Schama the outstanding historian still survives.

— David Brooks on Simon Schama, The American Future: A History, The New York Times Book Review, May 24, 2009.

Thanks to Dave Lull.