ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2010 03:42 pm
@panzade,
Agree about Tuchman.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 05:42 am
@ossobuco,
Weve left out a lot of scholarly stuff that is more local but, in the groupings of hitory works ,I think weve gotten a fair smattering that moastly contours about Classical History and some of it a bit, shall I say, "SUSPECT". Several of the authors that we have chosen are famous for 'Diligently avoiding all opportunities for understatement" .

___________________________________________________________

ANYBODY INTERESTED IN THE ART FIELD?
In addition to Janson's , HISTORY OF ART, Id like to add Flexners work "THE WILDER IMAGE" a hitory of the development of a uniquely American spirit.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 03:04 pm
Art books, let's see .....

I have an old, tattered copy of Robert Hughes' The Shock of The New (art and the century of change) on my shelves, which I still refer to often. For research purposes, or just an interesting read, when I'm in the mood.
It was first published in 1980 but it remains one of the most stimulating resources on the subject of "modern art" I've come across. He covers the development of art from the impressionists on, focusing on "the relationship of major artists to the world from which they sprung and wished to change ... "
Shock was based on the 8 part BBC series of the same name (which was fantastic!)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/features/shock-new-eps.shtml

If you're interested, here's an extract from one of the programs. Duchamp talking about his work ,The Large Glass, & what inspired it.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 03:14 pm
@msolga,
Two I consider classics, however flawed: Vasari's Lives of the Artists and Cellini's Autobiography. (These reminds me to unearth my Janson once in a while.)
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 03:21 pm
@ossobuco,
Ah yes, Janson.
Is there something like an up-to-date version around?
(Though come to think of it, Janson is probably long gone by now . Rather difficult to update a book in such circumstances. )
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 03:39 pm
@msolga,
Most of my art books - I've culled a lot over time - are keyed to my own interests. Hard to recommend for other people's shelves. Berenson, for example (speaking of flawed - but still interesting to read), a lot of books about individual painters, books for bunches of different museums. I did read Canaday's series on painters probably twice through a long time ago - but I've no idea if his commentary is respected.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 03:39 pm
@msolga,
My Janson is from '86..
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 04:14 pm
@ossobuco,
Mine is from first year of university. (And falling to bits) It could do with a major update! Wink
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 06:12 pm
@msolga,
My Janson is the "NEw and Enlarged Edition , Nov 1969"----Since it was another almost 10 yeasr before Iwent for a BFA in painting , I think I must have bought it used.

I have so many books on Illustration,Printing, Pottery, and sculpture. I was a real Butterfly in a ASHityard when I ent to art school. I think I was just burnt from majors requiring heavy doses of calculus.

How about Schonbergs "Life of the Great Composers"?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 06:14 pm
@farmerman,
OH yeh, Da Vinci's "Leicester Codex" although not entirely about art, it analyzes the components of the natural world as envisioned by Leonardo. I have a "Dover" version of this one
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 06:29 pm
@farmerman,
I had some other thicko history of art book when I first went nutso over art in the very early seventies. I'd taken art history before, in the sixties, but (sigh) slept through the classes. What a goof. Well, they were after lunch and the lights were low. I hope I didn't snore. I forget the name of that first thick book; bought the Janson later.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 11:16 pm
@Green Witch,
Huitzinga's classic made an impression on me. Good to hear you appreciated it too, GW.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 11:19 pm
@tsarstepan,
Hughes is among my favorites critiques/historians.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 04:23 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

A Haahvad president in the eraly 1900's compiled a bookshelf of classic literature that he felt that, to read the books therein, was to embrace the minimum that ENglish literature had to present so that the reader was truly educated. Today, we have so many subjects that Id like to hear some of our own "minimla five foot bookshelves " that would contain the esssences of the subjects we were interesetd in.
Id like to start with History soince what gave me the idea was reading one of Sets post about education's role in "lighting the candles to smoke out the myths".

Maybe this wont work because the opinions are varied and the subjects are many. Id like, again to start with history and then science, art and cuklture,




English liturature is one thing, American another; but I don't think I could get all my books on a hundred foot book shelf, and I would not part with more than a few... I don't know what it is, but to loan a book is the greatest mark of trust I can show the average person, and I seldom see them back.. And to me, I have parted with so many good books that once lost cannot be found again that I think it is the greatest infidelity to ever give them up...
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 04:28 am
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:

H. G. Wells An Outline of History.

And, of course, Will and Ariel Durant's seminal work.

Ditto on that... I have read most of it, have every one I want, and it is a remarkable contribution to liturature... It is strange how often one can find one of his/their volumes at a second hand store for two or three bucks... People might pay more for an old meat grinder and use it seldom, while so much of Durant's work is pure treasure...
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 04:32 am
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

I'm reading Wells off and on now; also Tacitus' The Annals of Imperial Rome, and Herodotus' The Histories. These are small books, don't take up a lot of room on the shelf. Sad to say, I gave my father's set of the Durants' volumes to my cousin's husband unread by me. Stupid, stupid choice, based on space problems after my parents passed away.

I'm no history expert, but I very much enjoyed a translation of Jacob Burckhardt's The Age of Constantine the Great (1852 and 1880 or so), so it's a keeper on my shelves. Years ago I liked Graves' I Claudius. but no longer have a copy, or even opinions on it.

I think Primo Levi is important but I've only read one of his books, The Reawakening. Want to read his Survival in Auschwitz.

Here's a review from an amazon customer on Survival in Auschwitz -
"It would be easy to bluntly horrify the reader in a book about life in a death camp, but Levi is not content to appeal to the emotions. He has an intellectual fascination with details, and the psychology of genocide. By a dispassionate and careful treatment of the very difficult material, he manages to write a compelling book about a terrible subject. And the emotional effect does not suffer from this approach--because Levi does not manipulate them, the reader's feelings are deeper and more lasting.

In one chapter, Levi describes how many of the prisoners, after fourteen hours of manual labor, would assemble in one corner of the camp in a market. They would trade rations and stolen goods. Levi describes how the market followed classical economic laws. Whenever I remember this I am freshly amazed at the resilience of life, and the ability of people to live and think and work in the most adverse conditions. It is remarkable that I finished a book about the Holocaust with a better opinion of mankind than I started with; I think the fact that the book affected me this way is the best recommendation."





When ever I read such books I remember that the camps would not have worked without the workers, and that failing all else, those people would have better served humanity making an impediment of themselves to the process rather than serving it... just a thought...
0 Replies
 
Quincy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 06:20 am
If we're discussing art books-- I fear perhaps the book I want to recommend is not academic enough, but it is the first book on art I read and I absolutely love it: The Story of Art by E. H. Gombrich, the unabridged version, which many people know; and also his Art and Illusion. Judging by these two books, if his others are anywhere near as good they are definitely worth reading.

I would recommend more, but I must wait to get home and refer to my collection.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 06:28 am
@Quincy,
remember, this is YOUR list. Im interested in expanding my own references and often the intro or early books are really great
0 Replies
 
 

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