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Posted March 30, 2012
One of the best books on Italian culture.
This was a surprise. It is not a puff piece simply boastful of Italian culture. The surprise was it's academic and research tone. It is peppered with footnoted facts not relegated to either the bottom of the page or worse the back of the chapter or the worst, the back of the text. The back of the tex does have a wealth of additional reading for the truly interested. The easily read prose brings us directly from Italian/Roman accomplishment to modern day results (admitted by the authors to have been, in many cases the beginning and not the whole) of Italian inventiveness, brilliant scientific, engineering and artful accomplishment, intellectual excellence and brash accomplishment. It reveals the cultural, religious, logistical and historical environment and context in which these sometimes courageous men and women were operating. Pointing out some of the personal challenges associated with their accomplishments. Proud to be any part Italian once you read this.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 13, 2009
One of the best books I have come across in a long long time. Wonderful writing style. Not dry and academic. Full of great information, even though somehow I suspect if the information may be a little biased! But certainly informative and rewarding. Highly recommended.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2004
Expertly researched and written, with plenty of side essays linking Italian inventions and inspirations to modern conditions that we often take for granted. One essay for example: What a surprise to see the Roman Republic credited with inventing concepts like balance-of-powers, multi-branch government, separation of lawmaking and execution, use of the veto, and other mainstains of the US constitution, which was liberally constructed on the history of successful societies. The fifty self-contained essays make an otherwise ponderous amount of information accessible and easily readable. Those who love Italy and History will love this fascinating book. There is something for everybody, with topics including arts, sciences, literature, religion, politics, medecine, mythology, exploration, law, the Renaissance, astonomy, education, famous inventions, modern fashion, fast cars, and of course, famous Italians like St. Thomas, Dante, the de Medici dynasty, Leonardo, Machiavelli, Galileo, Marconi, and many others. This book rejoices in the muti-faceted successes that people and culture brought forth, and not the usual, contemporary image of eye-talians as foul-mouthed thugs.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 31, 2002
Easy Enlightening Education
This is must have book.It's full of facts and descriptions that answer many, many questions you meant to ask along the way, before you got to this.The writing is conversational and friendly,yet as authentic and trustworthy as any quality academic tome.You get a perspective on many, many ideas,structures,objects, and events that comes only from a sure hand. The book is itself an example of sprezzatura.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 20, 2013
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