James H.S. McGregor
- Title: Rome from the Ground Up
- Author: James H.S. McGregor
- ISBN: 9780674022638
- Page: 322
- Format: Paperback
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Rome is not one city but many, each with its own history unfolding from a different center now the trading port on the Tiber now the Forum of antiquity the Palatine of imperial power the Lateran Church of Christian ascendancy the Vatican the Quirinal palace Beginning with the very shaping of the ground on which Rome first rose, this book conjures all these cities, pRome is not one city but many, each with its own history unfolding from a different center now the trading port on the Tiber now the Forum of antiquity the Palatine of imperial power the Lateran Church of Christian ascendancy the Vatican the Quirinal palace Beginning with the very shaping of the ground on which Rome first rose, this book conjures all these cities, past and present, conducting the reader through time and space to the complex and shifting realities architectural, historical, political, and social that constitute Rome.A multifaceted historical portrait, this richly illustrated work is as gritty as it is gorgeous, immersing readers in the practical world of each period James McGregor s explorations afford the pleasures of a novel thick with characters and plot twists amid the life struggles, hopes, and failures of countless generations, we see how things truly worked, then and now we learn about the materials of which Rome was built of the Tiber and its bridges of roads, aqueducts, and sewers and, always, of power, especially the power to shape the city and imprint it with a particular personality like that of Nero or Trajan or Pope Sixtus V or a particular institution.McGregor traces the successive urban forms that rulers have imposed, from emperors and popes to national governments including Mussolini s And, in archaeologists and museums presentation of Rome s past, he shows that the documenting of history itself is fraught with power and politics In McGregor s own beautifully written account, the power and politics emerge clearly, manifest in the distinctive styles and structures, practical concerns and aesthetic interests that constitute the myriad Romes of our day and days past.
Recent Comments "Rome from the Ground Up"
I absolutely loved this book. It’s probably best to read it after a trip to Rome, but I was able to still appreciate the places I didn’t see by searching for them on the Internet so even if you haven’t been, this book can still be enjoyed. The author writes in a way that is as exhausting as travel: there is so much to take in but you want to keep going. It is one of the best books I read this year.
I have never been to Rome, though I will be going there soon (in January - am I crazy?) I do have some knowledge of Roman and Italian history, which made this book somewhat comprehensible to me. However, it is loaded with detail about every ruin, monument and church without giving the poor reader any geographical context. The few pictures are postage stamp sized, and there are almost no maps to give me any idea where these places are. This book may be useful for someone intimately familiar with [...]
He makes you feel like you were there.
A great way to take in Roman history and the story behind its incredible buildings. I think that some large photos and maps would really have complemented the narrative.
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