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Rome by Robert Hughes

September 2011, no. 334

Rome by Robert Hughes

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, $50 hb, 534 pp, 97802978446448

Rome by Robert Hughes

September 2011, no. 334

There are two sorts of carelessness that a reviewer of history books will regularly see. The first is a minor marring of virtue: a small blot on a show of swashbuckling confidence and command over grand themes, a lack of care for what lesser men may think, arrogance even. We often call this being carefree rather than careless. The critic can correct and admire and move on. The second sort of carelessness is unsettling, almost a vice: a show of unconcern and shallow understanding, an arrogance of a different kind, a lack of care of any kind. In his lengthy account of the history of Rome, Robert Hughes is doubly, gloriously, and disgracefully careless.

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Comment (1)

  • Thank you for this insights. I bought this book and started reading it and was intrigued by the first few pages. I will continue to read it with an eye on those mistakes but and quite disappointed.
    Posted by Steve Martin
    29 March 2017

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