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4.0 out of 5 stars Actually three and a half stars..., 8 Sept. 2000
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I've read 4 other brilliantly written and researched books by Durant, but after going through this book my admiration of this author turned into awe: the amount of information he provides the reader with (even if you have experience in enjoying such volumes and know the difference betw. Verocchio and Pinturicchio) is unmeasurable. After being through half of the book facts and life-stories of all universally and hardly-so-well-known politicians, humanists, popes, sculptors, artists, philosophers, kings and merchants and a hundred of other notable personae began to choke me and I couldn't finish the book, to my shame.
Unfortunately, however dedicated only to one country (Italy) and even describing rise and fall of glory separate Italian cities, the book does not provide such ineteresting details on life and customs (food, housing, men-woman relations) of menfolk in general, so to say "a human touch" is missing, as it has been amazingly accomplished in Durant's books on Greece, Rome and medieval Europe. It seems that all tremendous geniuses that lived in that period overshadow their contemporaries with their grandeur and achievements.
But if you need to write a thesis on any theme concerning Reneissance Italy, I would recommend this book. Or read it by chapetrs, as several books.
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The Renaissance: A History of Civilization in Italy from 1304-1576 A.D. (Story of Civilization, 5)
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