This great historical essay tells you why this extraordinary event occurred and why it finally died out, though its effects lasted hundreds of years. Ironically, all the great pomp and splendor of the Italian Renaissance was accompanied by some of the worst violence and mayhem that Italy has ever experienced. In the midst of splendor unheard of, men murdered, stole, raped, lied, and cuckolded friend and foe. Horrible torture, brutal war, and poisonous political intrigue went hand in hand with the most sumptuous artistic and literary output in European history. Follow this incredible story to understand the Italian Renaissance in ways you never conceived.
©2004 Audio Connoisseur
This little "essay" (to use the same description Jacob Burckhardt used for his work, "The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy") is a brief, but wonderful introduction to the Italian Renaissance. Adding to the pleasure of this short book are the rich, sonorous tones of Charlton Griffin as the narrator and the brief introductory musical selections used to set the mood. If you love history of the Renaissance narrated by one of the truly great readers of our time, this is a must have selection.
I would have never finished this book in print. But Mr. Griffin's audio version was fascinating. My next listen to it will be in Venice and Florence with an iPod in my pocket and earphones in my ear while sipping an espresso in one of them piazzas. Can't wait.
Anthony Pour, CA
This book is more an overview of Italian Renaissance culture and values than a history. A fulsome account of the era's politics is absent, as is narrative drama.
Although this download of "The Italian Renaissance" indicates that it is "unabridged", IT IS INCOMPLETE! The hard copy of the book is published with two parts. The first written by J.H. Plumb and the second by various authors. This recording only contains the first part of the book.
Letting the rest of the world go by
History should be exciting. This book was not. It read as if it was a text book and all of the great stories that take place in this time period and the reason why it was so important for the reformation, enlightenment and today's times are not told within this book. Little context and no narrative is provided.
The author looks at each of the major Italian cities and describes them separately, then looks at some of the importance of painting, art and architecture of the period, and very little of the beginnings of the humanist thought or philosophy is presented in this book.
Don't get me wrong on this review. If you start the book, you'll probably finish it, but you will only be getting a text book like presentation of an incredibly exciting period of time and might be better served with another book on the topic which brings the history alive and would keep you on the edge of your seat the way such an exciting period of time should be told. History should be fun and this book wasn't.
This is not a history book. It is a poorly constructed stream of consciousness that contains as much opinion as fact.
Poorly organized and narrated with pomp and circumstantial evidence that proves you should look elsewhere for a historical account of the Italian Renaissance.
Include the second half of the book.
Very interesting look at the Italian Renaissance... but doesn't include the second half of the book!
Don't advertise this as "unabridged," and then only include half of the book!
A moderately good job was done of presenting an incredibly rich and interesting period of history. However, the strongly accented narration made following it difficult, often painful. Perhaps to a well heeled Brit this will be a great version, but to an American, it could have been significantly better
quite good content but the reade's style very 1950's upper crust English which takes from an average listener's attention to content. Still i would say it is worth a credit.
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