Monica's Reviews > Facing Facts: Realism in American Thought and Culture, 1850-1920

Facing Facts by David Emory Shi
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Mar 22, 2009

it was ok
Read in August, 2009

In the forward, the author implies that this book was a large undertaking with a wide scope. This was certainly proven to be true. It discussed the rise of Realism in America including the hows and whys, discussed prominent points contributing to realism and then also concluded by explaining this country's moving on from Realism. This book is often catalogued under literary review. This may be true but it encompasses so much more including: art critique, architecture review, social standing analysis, and science; with this list not being all inclusive. The author provides insight into many of the nation's front runners' lives in the areas of art, literature and architecture. This reader gleaned many literary suggestions from this reading.

So why the two star rating, you may ask. I rate books by how much I enjoyed reading them or learning from them. This book was just not that enjoyable. It was often repetitive and, frankly, quite boring. There are many redeeming qualities about the book and I probably would recommend it to someone who was looking for this sort of thing but it didn't really fit the bill for what I was looking for.
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Reading Progress

07/30/2009 page 31
7.45% "Whitman "chose to entangle himself with the coarse hemp of human society". What an interesting sentence!"
08/01/2009 page 48
11.54% "Rebecca Harding - "War may be an armed angel with a mission, but she has the personal habits of the slums"."
08/01/2009 page 53
12.74% "Whitman - The war became "the very centre, circumference,umbilicus of my whole career.""
08/01/2009 page 58
13.94% "Talking about realism-The Civil War and it's "realities" are enough to push anyone to change."
08/08/2009 page 109
26.2% ""Only a handful of libraries existed in 1850, but over 8000 had opened by 1900.""
08/12/2009 page 158
37.98% "Admittedly, I don't read a lot about architecture but I am having Ayn Rand flashbacks. Van Brunt's quote doesn't help.""

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