Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Short History of Florence

A Short History of Florence - Front Cover A Short History of Florence - Back Cover
The book is A Short History of Florence is by Franco Cardini (see http://www.pacinieditore.it/). It’s a small book of less than 130 pages. It started out so good (first 30 pages) and then it just fell back to this family did this, then this family did that, etc. The story of Florence is partly of a succession of one family after another seizing control and then getting the boot. The Medici are just one, the most successful, of a long line of famous powerful families in Florence’s history. This is all fine and well, but telling the story seems to always fall apart in these smaller treatments of the history. I guess I'm looking for a overview of the meaning of the history, an interpretation that will stick in my mind longer than the name of this or that family and the dates of when they were in control.

Worse still is that the last half of the book is filled with spelling, grammar, and date-related errors. It’s like the English proof reader quit after a while. On the postivie side, if you can borrow this book. the first chapter called A River, a bridge, a road is a really nice overview of the geography of Florence and the founding of the Roman city which became Florence.

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