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Rome: A History in Seven Sackings
by Matthew Kneale

Language

English

Pages

433

Publication Date

May 15, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
"Kneale's account is a masterpiece of pacing and suspense. Characters from the city's history spring to life in his hands." —<i>The Sunday Times</i> (London)<BR> <BR>Novelist and historian Matthew Kneale, a longtime resident of Rome, tells the story of the Eternal City—from the early Roman Republic through the Renaissance and the Reformation to Mussolini and the German occupation in World War Two—through pivotal moments that defined its history.<BR><BR>Rome, the Eternal City. It is a hugely popular tourist destination with a rich history, famed for such sites as the Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon, St. Peter’s, and the Vatican. In no other city is history as present as it is in Rome. Today visitors can stand on bridges that Julius Caesar and Cicero crossed; walk around temples in the footsteps of emperors; visit churches from the earliest days of Christianity.<BR> <BR> This is all the more remarkable considering what the city has endured over the centuries. It has been ravaged by fires, floods, earthquakes, and—most of all—by roving armies. These have invaded repeatedly, from ancient times to as recently as 1943. Many times Romans have shrugged off catastrophe and remade their city anew.<BR> <BR> Matthew Kneale uses seven of these crisis moments to create a powerful and captivating account of Rome’s extraordinary history. He paints portraits of the city before each assault, describing what it looked like, felt like, smelled like and how Romans, both rich and poor, lived their everyday lives. He shows how the attacks transformed Rome—sometimes for the better. With drama and humor he brings to life the city of Augustus, of Michelangelo and Bernini, of Garibaldi and Mussolini, and of popes both saintly and very worldly. He shows how Rome became the chaotic and wondrous place it is today. <i>Rome: A History in Seven Sackings</i> offers a unique look at a truly remarkable city.
Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Lov...
by Dava Sobel

Language

English

Pages

384

Publication Date

May 26, 2009

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<FONT face="Times New Roman"><br /><DIV>Inspired by a long fascination with Galileo, and by the remarkable surviving letters of Galileo's daughter, a cloistered nun, Dava Sobel has written a biography unlike any other of the man Albert Einstein called "the father of modern physics- indeed of modern science altogether." <I>Galileo's Daughter</I> also presents a stunning portrait of a person hitherto lost to history, described by her father as "a woman of exquisite mind, singular goodness, and most tenderly attached to me." </DIV><br /><DIV> </DIV><br /><DIV><I>Galileo's Daughter</I> dramatically recolors the personality and accomplishment of a mythic figure whose seventeenth-century clash with Catholic doctrine continues to define the schism between science and religion. Moving between Galileo's grand public life and Maria Celeste's sequestered world, Sobel illuminates the Florence of the Medicis and the papal court in Rome during the pivotal era when humanity's perception of its place in the cosmos was about to be overturned. In that same time, while the bubonic plague wreaked its terrible devastation and the Thirty Years' War tipped fortunes across Europe, one man sought to reconcile the Heaven he revered as a good Catholic with the heavens he revealed through his telescope. </DIV><br /><DIV> </DIV><br /><DIV>With all the human drama and scientific adventure that distinguished Dava Sobel's previous book <I>Longitude,</I> <I>Galileo's Daughter</I> is an unforgettable story</DIV></FONT>
God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World
by Cullen Murphy

Language

English

Pages

325

Publication Date

January 17, 2012

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<DIV><B>“From Torquemada to Guantánamo and beyond, Cullen Murphy finds the ‘inquisitorial impulse’ alive, and only too well, in our world” (Jane Mayer, author of <I>Dark Money</I>).</B><BR />  <BR /> Established by the Catholic Church in 1231, the Inquisition continued in one form or another for almost seven hundred years. Though associated with the persecution of heretics and Jews—and with burning at the stake—its targets were more numerous, its techniques were more ambitious, and its effect on history has been greater than many understand.<BR />  <BR /> The Inquisition pioneered surveillance, censorship, and “scientific” interrogation. As time went on, its methods and mindset spread far beyond the Church to become tools of secular persecution. Traveling from freshly opened Vatican archives to the detention camps of Guantánamo to the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, the author of <I>Are We Rome?</I> “masterfully traces the social, legal and political evolution of the Inquisition and the inquisitorial process from its origins in late medieval Christian France to its eerily familiar, secular cousin in the modern world” (<I>San Francisco Chronicle</I>).<BR />  <BR /> “<I>God’s Jury</I> is a reminder, and we need to be constantly reminded, that the most dangerous people in the world are the righteous, and when they wield real power, look out. . . . Murphy wears his erudition lightly, writes with quiet wit, and has a delightful way of seeing the past in the present.” —Mark Bowden, author of <I>Hue 1968</I><BR />  <BR /> “Beautifully written, very smart, and devilishly engaging.” —<I>The Boston Globe</I></DIV>
The Medici Letters: The Secret Origins of the Renaissance
by Taylor Buck

Language

English

Pages

408

Publication Date

May 26, 2015

Product Description
Customer Reviews
A shocking ancient secret. <br />The origins of western civilization discovered. <br />The Renaissance—our most fundamental age of technological and artistic advance, was built upon a secret passed down to a banking family in Florence—the Medici. <br />500 years ago that secret was buried.<br />Florence, Italy, present day. A trove of letters belonging to the Medici family is discovered underground. Archaeologist Kat Cullen comes across a map that leads her to the Swiss Alps where her partner is murdered and she is left for dead. Kat’s husband, professor and classicist—Jack Cullen, rushes to investigate. He joins with Chester Allen, a scientist from surveillance enterprise TerraTEK Industries, and together they begin to unravel the mystery of the Medici letters in hopes of determining what happened in the Alps. As they dig deeper, Jack stumbles across a secret—the infamous Medici treasure is real. However, word gets out and Jack soon realizes he’s not the only one interested in finding it…a deadly and elusive assassin attempts to seize control, throwing Jack into a series of harrowing escapades—riding horseback through the streets of Siena, discovering clues inside ancient cathedrals, deciphering 500 year-old cryptosystems and navigating an underground labyrinth in order to solve a secret so powerful it could change the world forever.<br /><br />This fast-paced adventure blends together a modern-day treasure hunt with historic accounts of Lorenzo de’Medici in Renaissance Florence in an international thriller with plenty of dark twists and exciting turns.<br />
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
by Stephen Greenblatt

Language

English

Pages

377

Publication Date

September 26, 2011

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p>Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction <br /><br />Winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Non-Fiction</p><br />One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.<br /><br /><br /><br />Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, <em>On the Nature of Things</em>, by Lucretius—a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.<br /><br /><br /><br />The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.
City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
by Roger Crowley

Language

English

Pages

464

Publication Date

January 24, 2012

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>“The rise and fall of Venice’s empire is an irresistible story and [Roger] Crowley, with his rousing descriptive gifts and scholarly attention to detail, is its perfect chronicler.”—<i>The Financial Times</i></b><br /> <i> </i><br /> The <i>New York Times</i> bestselling author of <i>Empires of the Sea</i> charts Venice’s astounding five-hundred-year voyage to the pinnacle of power in an epic story that stands unrivaled for drama, intrigue, and sheer opulent majesty. <i>City of Fortune </i>traces the full arc of the Venetian imperial saga, from the ill-fated Fourth Crusade, which culminates in the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, to the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499–1503, which sees the Ottoman Turks supplant the Venetians as the preeminent naval power in the Mediterranean. In between are three centuries of Venetian maritime dominance, during which a tiny city of “lagoon dwellers” grow into the richest place on earth. Drawing on firsthand accounts of pitched sea battles, skillful negotiations, and diplomatic maneuvers, Crowley paints a vivid picture of this avaricious, enterprising people and the bountiful lands that came under their dominion. From the opening of the spice routes to the clash between Christianity and Islam, Venice played a leading role in the defining conflicts of its time—the reverberations of which are still being felt today.<br />  <br /> <b>“[Crowley] writes with a racy briskness that lifts sea battles and sieges off the page.”—<i>The New York Times</i></b><br /> <b> </b><br /> <b>“Crowley chronicles the peak of Venice’s past glory with Wordsworthian sympathy, supplemented by impressive learning and infectious enthusiasm.”<i>—The Wall Street Journal</i></b>
Pessoa's Geometry of the Abyss: Modernity and the Book of Disquie...
by PauloDe Medeiros

Language

English

Pages

144

Publication Date

July 05, 2017

Product Description
Customer Reviews
"Fernando Pessoa wrote prolifically in many genres until his untimely death in 1935, and he has long been widely recognized as Portugal's most influential twentieth century writer. The publication of the Book of Disquiet in 1982, however, caused a seismic change in the appreciation of his work and its place in Modernism. In that great and vast collection of fragments, Pessoa firmly established his place among the canon of European modernists and radically questioned many of Modernity's assumptions. Alain Badiou, for example, has argued that philosophers are not yet able to assimilate Pessoa's thinking. Paulo de Medeiros's new study, one of the first to be dedicated to the Book of Disquiet, takes up that challenge, exploring the text's connections with photography, film, politics and textuality itself, and developing comparisons with D. H. Lawrence, Walter Benjamin, and Franz Kafka. Paulo de Medeiros is Professor of Modern and Contemporary World Literatures in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick."
Fatal Discord: Erasmus, Luther, and the Fight for the Western Min...
by Michael Massing

Language

English

Pages

1008

Publication Date

February 27, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>A deeply textured dual biography and fascinating intellectual history that examines two of the greatest minds of European history—Desiderius Erasmus and Martin Luther—whose heated rivalry gave rise to two enduring, fundamental, and often colliding traditions of philosophical and religious thought.</strong></p><p>Erasmus of Rotterdam was the leading figure of the Northern Renaissance. At a time when Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael were revolutionizing Western art and culture, Erasmus was helping to transform Europe’s intellectual and religious life, developing a new design for living for a continent rebelling against the hierarchical constraints of the Roman Church. When in 1516 he came out with a revised edition of the New Testament based on the original Greek, he was hailed as the prophet of a new enlightened age. Today, however, Erasmus is largely forgotten, and the reason can be summed up in two words: Martin Luther. As a young friar in remote Wittenberg, Luther was initially a great admirer of Erasmus and his critique of the Catholic Church, but while Erasmus sought to reform that institution from within, Luther wanted a more radical transformation. Eventually, the differences between them flared into a bitter rivalry, with each trying to win over Europe to his vision.</p><p>In <em>Fatal Discord</em>, Michael Massing seeks to restore Erasmus to his proper place in the Western tradition. The conflict between him and Luther, he argues, forms a fault line in Western thinking—the moment when two enduring schools of thought, Christian humanism and evangelical Christianity, took shape. A seasoned journalist who has reported from many countries, Massing here travels back to the early sixteenth century to recover a long-neglected chapter of Western intellectual life, in which the introduction of new ways of reading the Bible set loose social and cultural forces that helped shatter the millennial unity of Christendom and whose echoes can still be heard today. Massing concludes that Europe has adopted a form of Erasmian humanism while America has been shaped by Luther-inspired individualism.</p>
The Medici: Power, Money, and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance
by Paul Strathern

Language

English

Pages

430

Publication Date

March 15, 2016

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p>A vivid, dramatic, and authoritative account of perhaps the most influential family in Italian history: the Medici.</p><br />A dazzling history of the modest family that rose to become one of the most powerful in Europe, <em>The Medici</em> is a remarkably modern story of power, money, and ambition. Against the background of an age that saw the rebirth of ancient and classical learning Paul Strathern explores the intensely dramatic rise and fall of the Medici family in Florence, as well as the Italian Renaissance which they did so much to sponsor and encourage.<br /><br /><br /><br />Strathern also follows the lives of many of the great Renaissance artists with whom the Medici had dealings, including Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello; as well as scientists like Galileo and Pico della Mirandola; and the fortunes of those members of the Medici family who achieved success away from Florence, including the two Medici popes and Catherine de' Médicis, who became Queen of France and played a major role in that country through three turbulent reigns.
Fire in the City: Savonarola and the Struggle for the Soul of Ren...
by Lauro Martines

Language

English

Pages

359

Publication Date

April 21, 2006

Product Description
Customer Reviews
A gripping and beautifully written narrative that reads like a novel, <em>Fire in the City</em> presents a compelling account of a key moment in the history of the Renaissance, illuminating the remarkable man who dominated the period, the charismatic Girolamo Savonarola.<br />Lauro Martines, whose decades of scholarship have made him one of the most admired historians of Renaissance Italy, here provides a remarkably fresh perspective on Savonarola, the preacher and agitator who flamed like a comet through late fifteenth-century Florence. The Dominican friar has long been portrayed as a dour, puritanical demagogue who urged his followers to burn their worldly goods in "the bonfire of the vanities." But as Martines shows, this is a caricature of the truth--the version propagated by the wealthy and powerful who feared the political reforms he represented. Here, Savonarola emerges as a complex and subtle man, both a religious and a civic leader--who inspired an outpouring of political debate in a city newly freed from the tyranny of the Medici. In the end, the volatile passions he unleashed--and the powerful families he threatened--sent the friar to his own fiery death. But the fusion of morality and politics that he represented would leave a lasting mark on Renaissance Florence.<br />For the many readers fascinated by histories of Renaissance Italy--such as <em>Brunelleschi's Dome</em> or <em>Galileo's Daughter</em>, and Martines's acclaimed <em>April Blood--Fire in the City</em> offers a vivid portrait of one of the most memorable characters from that dazzling era.

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