The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de' Medici
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Lorenzo's grandfather Cosimo had converted the vast wealth of the family bank into political power, but from his earliest days Lorenzo's position was precarious. Bitter rivalries among the leading Florentine families and competition among the squabbling Italian states meant that Lorenzo's life was under constant threat. Those who plotted his death included a pope, a king, and a duke, but Lorenzo used his legendary charm and diplomatic skill -- as well as occasional acts of violence -- to navigate the murderous labyrinth of Italian politics. Against all odds he managed not only to survive but to preside over one of the great moments in the history of civilization.
Florence in the age of Lorenzo was a city of contrasts, of unparalleled artistic brilliance and unimaginable squalor in the city's crowded tenements; of both pagan excess and the fire-and-brimstone sermons of the Dominican preacher Savonarola. Florence gave birpth to both the otherworldly perfection of Botticelli's Primavera and the gritty realism of Machiavelli's The Prince. Nowhere was this world of contrasts more perfectly embodied than in the life and character of the man who ruled this most fascinating city.
Praise For Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de' Medici…
"A meticulous and entertaining study of one of the great characters of the Italian Renaissance, who ruled Florence during one of the most fascinating periods of Italy's turbulent history. Packed with incident and incisive research, this work succeeds in being both popular and scholarly." -- Paul Strathern, author of The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
“Dazzling. . . . From the first sentence, Magnifico transports the reader to 15th-century Florence, a place of matchless splendor, both natural and man-made. Unger mines a rich lode of sources. . . . The result is an indelible personal profile and an enthralling account of both the glories and brutalities of the era.”
—David Takami, The Seattle Times
“Highly absorbing . . . provides a mesmerizing microscope for viewing the entire Italian Renaissance. . . . Magnifico is a wonderful feast for lovers of Renaissance history and art.”
—Chuck Leddy, The Boston Globe
Simon & Schuster, 9780743254359, 528pp.
Publication Date: May 5, 2009