Over the centuries many thousands of visitors have journeyed to Florence to admire the city's great beauty and to marvel at its unique history.
In this century Gene Brucker has been one of the city's most knowledgeable admirers. With the historian's ability to uncover the past, he skillfully relates the story of Florence's Golden Age and the conjoined forces that transformed the city on the Arno into one of the most glorious civilizations the world has known. Brucker's story of the premier city of the Italian Renaissance tells of great families and common people, wars and economic dislocations, natural catastrophes and religious turmoil, and extraordinary artistic and literary achievement.
The creative growth of the city of Dante, Giotto, Brunelleschi, and Michelangelo was made possible through Florence's role as an economic center, the zeal of its small manufacturing industries, and the enterprise of the merchants who spread Florentine influence well beyond the city's walls and territories. The pages of Florence are enlivened with the voices of historical protagonists, and their words richly convey the tenor of the times. Brucker's accessible writing is complimented by a wealth of paintings and drawings, 200 of them in full color. Also included are a chronology of important historical events, a listing of noted Florentine families, and a genealogy of the famed Medici family. Historians and students will find much of value here; so too will anyone who is in love with—or who plans to fall in love with—the shining city of Florence.
Gene Brucker is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the Medieval Academy of America and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as a foreign member of the Dep utazione di Storia Patria per la Toscana. Among his many books on medieval history and the Renaissance are Renaissance Florence (1969, California, 1983), and Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence (California, 1986).
Brucker's work should be counted among the most elaborate studies performed concerning the outstanding city of Florence. The author tries to avoid emphasizing aspects which are appropriate for a touristic guide, concentrates rather on focus points of the historical timeline. However Brucker does not strictly cling to chronology and this is mostly pleasing for amateur readers. Also interesting is methodology used to narrate different though parallel aspects of the age. Three different narration plains are utilised: main one is the continuous text; second the explanations of the pictures and third independent topics of two pages each. I recommend this book to all who want to discover the ascent of a culture, the enablers behind it and magnificient achievements. One may be quite content with starting to read the book with the chronology at the end of the book, for not loosing the logical sequence, as the same occurences are depicted at different sections in different context.
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