Customer Reviews


7 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Medieval Financial Machinations
If your knowledge of the Medici family begins and ends with their patronage of Renaissance artists, sharp-penned writer Tim Parks has some revelations to share. True, the Medicis used the wealth they amassed from their bank to turn Florence, Italy, into the Mecca of fifteenth-century culture. Yet, the Medici clan also perfected the arts of vanquishing foes and allying...
Published on 6 Feb 2006 by Rolf Dobelli

versus
1 of 65 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I found this useless
Not a whole lot to be said about this book except I found it next to useless.
Published on 18 Nov 2009 by Aidan Matthews


Most Helpful First | Newest First

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Medieval Financial Machinations, 6 Feb 2006
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
If your knowledge of the Medici family begins and ends with their patronage of Renaissance artists, sharp-penned writer Tim Parks has some revelations to share. True, the Medicis used the wealth they amassed from their bank to turn Florence, Italy, into the Mecca of fifteenth-century culture. Yet, the Medici clan also perfected the arts of vanquishing foes and allying with the rich and powerful to gain a stranglehold on political power - all in bold-faced defiance of Catholic Church doctrine. The Vatican held that paying or collecting so much as a penny of interest was a mortal sin. Parks’ book shows you what the Medici made of that, and his arch, witty style is a joy to read. Perhaps the only caution is that this history is more a study of the spiritual and social history of Florence than a guide to the Medicis’ business successes and failures. We recommend this history to anyone interested in the intersection of money, politics and religion.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neither a borrower nor a lender be ..., 2 July 2009
By 
G. M. Sinstadt - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Medici Money: Banking, metaphysics and art in fifteenth-century Florence (Paperback)
Medici Money is, in the author's words, "a brief reflection on the Medici of the fifteenth century - their bank; their politics; their marriages, slaves and mistresses; the conspiracies they survived; the houses they built and the artists they patronized." And so indeed it is, 250 smoothly readable pages, informed by a mind that might seem cynical were it not expressed with an acerbic wit.

Take, for example, Tim Parks on an occasion when the public debt was running out of control. "The government announces that from now on, interest returns on tax loans will only be paid when and to the extent possible. As a result, disappointed lenders in need of ready cash start selling their debt bonds to those speculators who can wait. The Domicans says this is usury and the Franciscans say it is not. What do we have different religious orders for, if not for a second opinion?"

If the Medici didn't quite invent banking they worked hard to develop it. Not an easy task when the Roman church condemned lending money at interest as usury. Then there was the problem of moving money between branches established in other Italian cities and soon throughout Europe. To move money physically was too dangerous. The bankers became merchants, investing the money they held in commodities they could sell - they hoped - at a profit. The Letter of Credit was introduced, with cunning caveats to placate Rome - but nothing eased relations with the Pope more effectively than lending him money. The Medici were of necessity politicians, too, adept at manipulating power over Florence and relationships elsewhere.

Five generations of the Medici family ran the bank from inception to collapse over a period that is neatly bounded by the fifteenth century. They accumulated wealth in a manner that may not have been usury but was close enough, and spent much of it preparing heir path to heaven by lavishing it on churches and decorating them with great art. Parks doesn't ignore the metaphysical paradox. "Even today there are many who believe that art is necessarily on the right side, and do not ask which bank sponsored it."

Renaissance Italy is an overwritten area in European history, but there is always room for the work of a skilled story-teller. A light touch with serious subjects helps earn Medici Money an honourable place on a crowded shelf.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read before you go to Florence, 21 Jan 2012
This review is from: Medici Money: Banking, metaphysics and art in fifteenth-century Florence (Paperback)
I bought this book in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to read up on the family whose portraits form a centre piece of many of the rooms. I found it a fascinating and easy to read book on the early years of the Medici family. I wish I had read it before my trip to Florence as it would have given me more insight into the city. It is an 'easy' book but has led me to read further into the history of this family, in particular it only looks at the 100 years when the family ruled Florence and does not consider the later years of the dynasty. But it's a good holiday read for a trip to Florence.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good read, 28 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Medici Money: Banking, metaphysics and art in fifteenth-century Florence (Paperback)
great book, interesting, lots of info,if you like this period in time you will love this book,love florence and the medici
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great read, 15 Jan 2014
By 
Mostly fantastic although at times seems rushed and incoherent. Probably because of the vastness of the material. An enjoyable read nonetheless.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Ripping banking yarn, 2 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Medici Money: Banking, metaphysics and art in fifteenth-century Florence (Paperback)
Love the way Tim writes, whether it is about Italian football or old banking dynasties.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 65 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I found this useless, 18 Nov 2009
By 
Aidan Matthews (ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Medici Money: Banking, metaphysics and art in fifteenth-century Florence (Paperback)
Not a whole lot to be said about this book except I found it next to useless.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Medici Money: Banking, metaphysics and art in fifteenth-century Florence
£6.29
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews