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Florence and the Medici: The Pattern of Control Paperback – 20 Sep 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (20 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842124560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842124567
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 675,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

J.R. Hale was professor of Italian history at University College London and was Chairman of the Trustees of the National Gallery.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JJ on 18 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
being very interested in the italian rennaissance i have read quite a lot about the medicis, this is a very interesting and informative book,it has much detail.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bernard on 18 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Scholarly and well written. In a fairly slim volume the rise and decline of the Medici in Florence is well documented.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
Short history, good but incomplete 27 May 2014
By Gderf - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a good introduction or review, but the scope and time span is too extensive for the limited number of pages. In total it amounts to little more than an essay, albeit a fine one. My impression is a summary of a larger work.

We get a good introduction to the familiar careers of Cosimo and Lorenzo. The best of the book is rumination of the harm that Lorenzo did as well as the good; whether he enhanced or restricted liberty. Hale seems to come down slightly towards the later. The transition from a republic to a dukedom is covered, although the era of Machiavelli and Soderini is all but passed over. It's good on the careers of the Dukes of Tuscany, the two Medici popes, the two Medici queens and the decline of the dynasty. I was disappointed in the sparse attention given to peripheral branches and the popes who carried only the Medici family name. The Medici family tree in the book reflects the shortage. Medici sponsorship of artists and architects, Lippi, Botticelli, Ghiberti, Donatello, … amounts to little more than name dropping. The relationship between Galileo and Duke Ferdinando is an exception. There's interesting relationships to other families, rivals Bardi, Strozzi and Pazzi, as well as the Tuornaboni and Orsini who became allied by marriage. The French invasions and the various holy leagues are given short shrift. Uneven coverage neglects the Medici cardinals, except for the two who became popes. The book is fairly myopic in focusing on Florence with only casual mention of involvements with Pisa, Siena and Volterra. I suppose part of the difficulty is that it may not be feasible to separate Florentine history from the rest of Italy. Florentine involvement in international history, such as the War of Castro, requires looking up elsewhere to be understood. I did enjoy Hale's take on the historical impressions of Machiavelli and Vasari.

Hale makes interesting, but curt, references to politics and economics. Reminiscent of today, tax on tax destroyed initiative. Florence turned to quasi democracy, the least effective of all forms of government. It's then dropped without explanation. A comparison with today's government in the USA would be most interesting.

I hate to be critical of such an obviously knowledgeable writer, but this is not a book where he translates his extensive knowledge. The book does serve as a tickler, leaving this reader wanting more. Anyway, what's here is well worth the short time to read it.
Florence and the Medici 13 Mar. 2014
By Mark Alden - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book about the Medici. Traveling to Padua, Italy in April 2014. Great historical information. Very interested in Florence and Venice also.
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