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“A swift and brilliant synthesis of finance, politics, and history.”Ben Sisario, New York Times Book Review
Before they achieved renown as patrons of the arts and de facto rulers of Florence, the Medici family earned their fortune in banking. But even at the height of the Renaissance, charging interest of any kind meant running afoul of the Catholic Church’s ban on usury. Tim Parks reveals how the legendary MedicisCosimo and Lorenzo “the Magnificent” in particularused the diplomatic, military, and even metaphysical tools at hand, along with a healthy dose of intrigue and wit, to further their fortunes as well as their family’s standing.
About the Author
Tim Parks was born in Manchester, England, in 1954, grew up in London, and has lived in Italy since 1981. His novels include Europa, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and he is the author of several nonfiction accounts of life in Italy, including Italian Neighbors and An Italian Education. During his years in Italy, Parks has translated works by Italo Calvino, Roberto Calasso, Alberto Moravia, and Machiavelli. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, for which he blogs.