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Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa…

Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa

by Nicholas Shrady

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from the Things bookbox; I had no idea that this landmark was a bell tower and part of a cathedral complex in Pisa, nor the history of Pisa. This book outlines how the tower came to be, and how well meaning preservationists (and a war) almost destroyed it.

Heading back out in the latest round of the things bookbox. ( )
  nancynova | Apr 21, 2017 |
The book is actually shaped like a parallelogram, so it tilts. The story of the Tower, started in 1173, but which began leaning even before it was finished in 1370, and the 16 + commissions that were formed to investigate the cause and attempt to fix it.
  Mapguy314 | Apr 1, 2016 |
Nicholas Shrady has woven together a fascinating little tale of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa; from its inception as monument to the Pisan city-state’s military and trading might in the 12th century through to its near collapse and belated rescue in the 21st century. An enthralling read. ( )
  adamclaxton | Sep 1, 2013 |
I started reading this short monograph on the history of the Tower of Pisa by Nicholas Shrady as a preparation for my Grand Tour of eight weeks across the European continent, of which two weeks in Italy, where I visited Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome.

Tilt. A skewed history of the Tower of Pisa is a very nice,small book, which excellently served its purpose in giving me a lot of background to the history of Pisa and many interesting facts and anecdotes about the tower. I agree with other reviewers that, as the tower is skewed, so is the book, leaning heavily to giving more information about the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, while almost neglecting, or glossing over recent history.

Unfortunately, I did not finish reading the book before my trip, and did not bring it along. As a result, I missed Chapter 7 describing the Pisa Circle of poets and artists such as Shelley, Byron and Leigh Hunt, whose traces I would have looked for had I known. ( )
  edwinbcn | Oct 3, 2011 |
Entertaining architectural/technological/cultural history along the lines of Longitude. A lot of fun to read, especially understanding the context and motivations in the early section, helping explain the genesis and significance of the tower. The characters really came alive for me, a real credit to the author.

I do wish the last century got more of the kind of energetic coverage that the author invested in the tower's first century. When we finally arrive at the last chapter in which the tower is stabilized for the next several centuries, I don't meet the characters, understand their motivations, or even get much depth of understanding of the solution.
  kimsbooks | Feb 18, 2011 |
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In loving memory of my parents, who lived a wonderfully skewed tale of their own
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Out of plumb and off-kilter, the Tower of Pisa is one of those singular monuments which beauty and a sense of bewilderment have conspired to transform into a universal architectural icon.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143034502, Paperback)

In the tradition of the bestselling Brunelleschi’s Dome, this acclaimed book by architectural critic Nicholas Shrady takes a look—from every angle—at one of the most storied and recognizable structures in the world. The Tower of Pisa has withstood gravity, war, earthquakes, and an onslaught of tourists for hundreds of years. But Shrady shows us much more than a structure that has defied the odds. Boasting a revolutionary design at its construction, the tower has born witness to a remarkable history, from its celebration by Romantics like Lord Byron to the corrective surgery at the hands of Mussolini that almost ruined it. Hugely entertaining and informative, Tilt is a triumph worthy of its imperfect yet enduring subject.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:54 -0400)

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"In Tilt, author Nicholas Shrady reveals how the campanile, or bell tower, in Pisa's Campo dei Miracoli became the iconic Tower of Pisa. Even standing straight and true, the tower's marble and lime facade would be instantly recognizable the world over. Yet its distinctive tilt, which measured 16 degrees from vertical when construction was completed in 1370, has long been a mystery. Was it the result of shoddy workmanship or the brainchild of a hunchback maestro who skewed the tower to avenge his own condition? Nearly a millennium since its construction, the tower still stands (more than 4 meters - or 5 degrees - askew) in defiance of logic, gravity, and soaring odds - a mute witness to history as it has unfolded."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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