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Tackling the entire Renaissance has overwhelmed more than one historian, but for Susan Wise Bauer, it's just another rich project. The woman who gave us The History of the World series, The History of the Ancient World, and The History of the Medieval World had long since mastered the fine art of historical narrative. In The History of the Renaissance World, she begins the story in the final year of the eleventh century, with Christians finally in control of Jerusalem after four hundred years, and proceeds to describe the cultural, political, and military changes, sometimes rapid and often cataclysmic, that affected civilizations from England, mainland Europe and the Middle East to India and China. Nor does she neglect things mostly beyond human control, including the Great Famine, the Black Death, and the Little Ice Age. An adroit retelling of an era of great rebirth.