Cover image for Tilt : a skewed history of the Tower of Pisa
Tilt : a skewed history of the Tower of Pisa
Shrady, Nicholas.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 161 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
Book bound to stand at a slant.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA5621.P716 S55 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In the tradition of Brunelleschi's Dome, comes a lively and richly informative chronicle of one of the world's most famous--and famously flawed--architectural and cultural icons, all presented in an innovative and striking format. (Architecture)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this entertaining but slight history of the famous Italian landmark, Shrady (Sacred Roads: Adventures from the Pilgrimage Trail) quickly recounts the saga of the bell tower that was begun in 1173 and has captivated the world's imagination ever since. He summarizes the tower's history, including its importance for the city of Pisa, which was a great maritime republic during the Middle Ages; explains why the story of Galileo's use of the tower to conduct experiments on falling objects was probably fabricated by one of the master's disciples; discusses the 19th-century Romantic poets' fanciful idea that the tower's tilt was deliberate on the part of its anonymous architect; and tells the story of the tower's near destruction by the Allies in WWII after they discovered that the Germans were using it as an observation post. Because the tower is built on unstable subsoil, it started to lean toward the south soon after construction began, and over the centuries the tilt increased at an alarming rate. Shrady discusses the numerous commissions that have studied the problem and outlines unsuccessful stabilizing attempts, including a plan approved by Mussolini that nearly toppled it. Shrady's brief account of the tower's probable fate is concise and engaging, but it contains nothing new. It's the book's format that is unusual: the cover and the pages cut on a slant, like the tower, a marketing gimmick that will most likely relegate the book to the souvenir shelf. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved