Paper $22.50 ISBN: 9780226525044 Published October 2017 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
E-book $18.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226525181 Published October 2017 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada Also Available From

Marvelous Possessions

The Wonder of the New World

Stephen Greenblatt

Marvelous Possessions
Read the introduction.

Stephen Greenblatt

With a New Preface
224 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1991, 2017
Paper $22.50 ISBN: 9780226525044 Published October 2017 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
E-book $18.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226525181 Published October 2017 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
A masterwork of history and cultural studies, Marvelous Possessions is a brilliant meditation on the interconnected ways in which Europeans of the Age of Discovery represented non-European peoples and took possession of their lands, particularly in the New World. In a series of innovative readings of travel narratives, judicial documents, and official reports, Stephen Greenblatt shows that the experience of the marvelous, central to both art and philosophy, was manipulated by Columbus and others in the service of colonial appropriation. Much more than simply a collection of the odd and exotic, Marvelous Possessions is both a highly original extension of Greenblatt’s thinking on a subject that has permeated his career and a thrilling tale of wandering, kidnapping, and go-betweens—of daring improvisation, betrayal, and violence. Reaching back to the ancient Greeks, forward to the present, and, in his new preface, even to fantastical meetings between humans and aliens in movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Greenblatt would have us ask: How is it possible, in a time of disorientation, hatred of the other, and possessiveness, to keep the capacity for wonder—for tolerant recognition of cultural difference—from being poisoned?
Review Quotes
Anthony Pagden | Times Literary Supplement
“A marvelous book. It is also a compelling and a powerful one. Nothing so original has ever been written on European responses to ‘the wonder of the New World.’”
Simon Schama | New Republic
“By far the most intellectually gripping and penetrating discussion of the relationship between intruders and natives is provided by Greenblatt’s Marvelous Possessions. Nothing else in the entire literature of the quincentennial remotely approaches his vivid engagement with the crucial issue of cross-cultural perceptions.”
Ronald Wright | Globe and Mail
“Greenblatt writes with sophistication, wit, and considerable grace. I was intrigued throughout by the many flavors of his erudition, intelligence, and style.”
Kirkus Reviews
“A witty and erudite study of early American explorers and their sensibilities. . . . Greenblatt’s deft handling of intellectual baggage is a special gift, but his clear, quick, pungent re-creation of specific people and events in this context is remarkable.”
Laura Shapiro | Newsweek
“For the most engaging and illuminating perspective of all, read Marvelous Possessions.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Blog: History

Events in History

Keep Informed

JOURNALs