- 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: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,766,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Economy of Renaissance Florence Hardcover – February 5, 2009
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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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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. Goldthwaite then presents a series of chapters covering international merchant banking, the shifts in trading patterns across the Medieval through Renaissance periods, the mechanics of banking and government financing, the structure and function of the Florentine industrial and local economy, and a good deal of relevant social history.
There is some overlap among chapters and, inevitably, some repetition. Goldthwaite, however, is very successful in conveying the richness of economic activity in and the dynamism of Renaissance Florence. While this book is not organized as a chronological narrative, he also gives a very good sense of the many changes that occurred in the structure of the European economy across the centuries he is discussing. Goldthwaite is very careful not to present Florance as paradigmatic and when possible, offers comparisons with other cities and states of these periods. The cumulative effect is to provide a great deal of insight the nature and changing character of the European economy of Medieval and Early Modern Europe.
While this book is factually fairly dense, it is well written and Goldthwaite is careful to avoid use of economic jargon. He is careful as well to point out where deficiencies in knowledge exist. This book, however, is written with a scholarly audience in mind, and to get the most out of it, a reasonably good knowledge of Medieval and Renaissance history in needed.