Tag Archive: Renaissance

Dec 15 2014

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Some people come away from this play with the impression that it is anti-semitic, but Shakespeare puts such eloquent defenses and rebuttals in the mouth of Shylock, on behalf of himself and his people, that for me the charge does not ring true. ┬áThe more serious theme of this drama is the balance, at times …

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Sep 26 2014

The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France by R.J. Knecht

This book was BORING. But it was not entirely without merit. It educated me considerably on the degree to which religious strife has played a role in the history of France. One tends to think of France as a thoroughly Catholic country, but there was once a flourishing Protestant movement. It is tantalizing to speculate …

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Apr 14 2013

The House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert

Could the Italian Renaissance have flourished without the Medici to finance it? This book supports Will Durant’s argument that art may be the flower of civilization, but money is the root. Yet apart from a few shining stars in the Medici family, the story is mostly one of decline that illustrates how utterly useless Europe’s …

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Oct 12 2010

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

There has been a movement in recent times among historians and political scientists to rehabilitate Machiavelli’s reputation. After reading this book, I cannot agree with these scholars. Machiavelli’s recipe for statesmanship is inhuman and diabolical. He clearly sees power as an end in itself and not as something to be used to serve the public …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2010/10/12/the-prince/