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Chronicling the Eternal City

The narrative of this expansive history is enjoyable, and some indelicate comments do not spoil a Herculean effort that expertly conveys the spirit of Rome

By Elizabeth Lev   July 2011

Detail from “Modern Rome” by JMW Turner (1839). Robert Hughes’s history captures the undying sense of astonishment at the city

Rome by Robert Hughes (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £25)

Australian critic Robert Hughes took the art world by storm in 1980 with his television series The Shock of the New. He took the enigma of modern art and expertly dissected it into comprehensible and even palatable nuggets. With that formidable notch in his belt, Hughes has gone on to explore the wonder of the old, attempting to master and present the 3,000 year-old history of the Eternal City in his latest…

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