Historian Wallace K. Ferguson spends the entire first chapter just in bringing his listeners to an understanding of the changes wrought in the economic, social, and political spheres during the late Middle Ages. For it is only by going back to the period preceding the Renaissance that any of the events, with which we are familiar, will make sense. How did people respond to these chaotic social and economic changes? Why did the Church break apart under the pressure? Professor Ferguson provides the essential information we need in order to understand the dynamic Renaissance society that emerged, first in Italy, and later in Northern Europe. It was a remarkable transmutation whose legacy of brilliant works of art, architecture, literature, and scientific inquiry were to result in the mind expanding epochs that were to follow, and whose works continue to enrich the lives of millions right up to the present day.
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