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The Economy of Renaissance Florence Hardcover – February 5, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (February 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801889820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801889820
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,364,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Renaissance Florence has no more able defender in recent times than Professor Richard Goldthwaite.

(Washington Post Book World)

Richard Goldthwaite has served a long apprenticeship. As a dedicated student of the economy of Florence between the 13th and 16th centuries, he has published studies of the city's buildings and banks, its private wealth and the demand for its art. Now he has stood back and produced a magisterial history which brings all the strands of the story together and becomes, among its other virtues, a persuasive account of early capitalism.

(Economist)

Johns Hopkins University Press deserves praise for having so ably edited and published such a big book in this age of contraction and cost-cutting. It and the author have given us one of the most important books in Renaissance history to have appeared in many years: not simply a long-needed synthesis but a stimulating, insightful work that will guide research for a long time to come.

(Robert S. DuPlessis Renaissance Quarterly)

This book marks a crowning achievement of a distinguished academic career, and it achieves both authority in its exposition and modesty in its tone. An essential read for scholars interested in the study of Florence, and historical economics.

(Nicola Jones H-Italy, H-Net Reviews)

It is hard to do justice to so large, complex, and informative a work. A synthesis of the Florentine economy is a monumental undertaking. Goldthwaite offers a compelling image, which, like all such images, will draw its critics and admirers and set the parameters of the field for decades.

(Thomas Kuehn Journal of Modern History)

Masterful. So thorough, so inclusive, and so wide-ranging that its omission from the bibliography of on any future study on the Italian Renaissance will be a noticeable oversight.

(Brian Maxson Canadian Journal of History)

A highly readable, lashivly detailed study that much become essential reading.

(Nicholas Scott Baker European History Quarterly)

An important model that will be impossible for any future student of Florence's economic history to ignore.

(Franca R. Barricelli Journal of World History)

This book is essential reading not only for economic historians... but also for historians of Renaissance Florence generally. The Economy of Renaissance Florence will remain an indispensable point of reference and departure for research in the field for decades to come.

(Lawrin Armstrong Renaissance and Reformation)

Few people who know so much write so attractively as [Goldthwaite]. Take him as a model.

(Chronique)

From the Back Cover

Winner, Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Book Prize, the Renaissance Society of America

Outstanding Academic Title, Choice magazine

Honorable Mention, Economics, PROSE Awards, Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers

Richard A. Goldthwaite, a leading economic historian of the Italian Renaissance, has spent his career studying the Florentine economy. In this magisterial work, Goldthwaite brings together a lifetime of research and insight on the subject, clarifying and explaining the complex workings of Florence’s commercial, banking, and artisan sectors.

While political, social, and cultural histories of Florence abound, none focuses solely on the economic history of the city. The Economy of Renaissance Florence offers both a systematic description of the city's major economic activities and a comprehensive overview of its economic development from the late Middle Ages through the Renaissance to 1600.

"Renaissance Florence has no more able defender in recent times than Professor Richard Goldthwaite."— Washington Post Book World

"Richard Goldthwaite has served a long apprenticeship. As a dedicated student of the economy of Florence between the 13th and 16th centuries, he has published studies of the city's buildings and banks, its private wealth and the demand for its art. Now he has stood back and produced a magisterial history which brings all the strands of the story together and becomes, among its other virtues, a persuasive account of early capitalism."— The Economist

"This book marks a crowning achievement of a distinguished academic career, and it achieves both authority in its exposition and modesty in its tone. An essential read for scholars interested in the study of Florence, and historical economics."— H-Italy, H-Net Reviews


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A comprehensive examination of the Florentine economy across about 4 centuries, including both Medieval and Renaissance Florence. This topic is of particular interest because Florence played an important role in the economic history of Europe and also because the richness of surviving documentation provides more information about the economic history of Florence than any other European city during these periods. The basic outline is relatively straightforward. Situated in one of the most heavily urbanized parts of western Europe, Florence began to flourish as part of the commercial revolution that occurred in Medieval Europe. Florence became a leading industrial center producing woolen cloth and later silk fabrics, participating in a broad trade across western Europe and the Mediterranean. The expanding Florentine trade network led the entrepreneurial Florentines into a range of mercantile and banking activities across Europe, including major provision of credit to many monarchs and the Papacy. For a substantial period, Florence was a major economic power in Europe. By about 1600, the growth of the European economy and the vigor of other regions, particularly the Netherlands and Britain, led to a relative decline in the importance of the Florentine economy and Florence became a provincial center.

Motivated by a desire to explore as many facets of the Florentine economy as possible, and as deeply as possible, Goldthwaite does not use a chronological approach. He presents a series of well written and extremely well documented chapters addressing a series of crucial topics. He opens with an overview of Italian and European economic development, emphasizing Florence, to about 1300. By this time, the Florentines were established well on the European economic scene.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph O. Falkinham on November 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Economy of Renaissance Florence" is well written, interesting, and comprehensive. Further, it gives one insight into the development of the modern economy. It is so comprehensive and thorough that one can can lose the message for all the information. There seems to be a belief amongst historians, and I include economists as historians, that one must include every single event, even though the separate recitations of the event, prove the same point. Thus, the reader of "The Economy of Renaissance Florence" learns lessons repeatedly. I am not certain that the permutations are necessary. It does have the advantage of a drill of events and personalities, and is thereby a great reference. However, one would like a condensed version emphasizing the principles.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This had a lot of application in how industry can change give global stress on a local system. I really enjoyed the book and found it very readable, even though I I only read a few popular books on the subject. I did get the kindle version, but this book is so excellent that I will get a physical version and start marking it.
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By cc on July 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is the point of reference about economics in Florence and beyond, and will stay that for many years, not only for economic historians, but for everybody who deals with markets in one way or another
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