Simon Schama’s World View

A conversation with critic and historian Simon Schama on free thinking and revolution in 2011.

Simon Schama at a 2009 presentation (Monica Campi/Flickr)

Simon Schama at a 2009 presentation (Monica Campi/Flickr)

Simon Schama is a brilliant thinker and writer on a very wide palette of human affairs. Revolutions: French and Egyptian. Leaders: from Churchill to Obama. Art: from Dutch masters and Rubens to Martin Scorcese and Richard Avedon. Life: from ocean crossings to the joys of ice cream.

He’s a scholar, historian, big-picture narrator — and a free-thinker who can link the far flung pieces of what has been and what is right now. With everything going on today, we could use that voice, that mind.

This hour On Point: a conversation on a world in turmoil with Simon Schama.

– Tom Ashbrook


Simon Schama, professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. He has been writing for decades for the New Yorker, the Financial Times, Vogue, The Guardian and more. His new collection of essays is called “Scribble, Scribble, Scribble:  Writing on Politics, Ice Cream, Churchill, and my Mother.”  Writer and host of the acclaimed 15-part BBC documentary series “A History of Britain.”  His many other books include, “The Power of Art,” “The American Future,” “Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution” and “Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution.”


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 30, 2015
United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, center left, Minister of the Environment of Peru and COP20 President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, center right, and French Foreign Affairs Minister and COP 21 President Laurent Fabius, center, pose for photographers during a press visit to the COP21, Paris Climate Conference, site, in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

World leaders converge in Paris for the big climate talks. We’ll look at what it will take to get a global climate agreement.

Nov 30, 2015
Shoppers walks in front of a holiday display Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in San Francisco.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, we’ll add up the dollars and trends and bargains of the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Nov 27, 2015
The punk rock band Sleater-Kinney (from L: Janet Weiss, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker) (Courtesy the Band)

Feminist punk-rockers, the band Sleater-Kinney, is with us. Reunited. Hotter than ever.

Nov 27, 2015
Josh Baldonado, an administrative assistant at Brown & Brown Insurance, works at a treadmill desk in the firms offices in Carmel, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (AP)

The end of sitting at work. A new call to get up off our chairs. To stand and move! We’ll look at how that works.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »