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Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance
Publisher: W. W. Norton & CompanyFormat: Paperback
In this provocative and wholly absorbing work, Lisa Jardine offers a radical interpretation of the Renaissance, arguing that the creation of culture during that time was inextricably tied to the creation of wealth - that the expansion of commerce spurred the expansion of thought. As Jardine boldly states, “The seeds of our own exuberant multiculturalism and bravura consumerism were planted in the European Renaissance.” While Europe's royalty and merchants competed with each other to acquire works of art, vicious commercial battles were being fought over who should control the centers for trade around the globe. Jardine encompasses Renaissance culture from its western borders in Christendom to its eastern reaches in the Islamic Ottoman Empire, bringing this opulent epoch to life in all its material splendor and competitive acquisitiveness. “A savvy, street-smart history of the Renaissance.”-Dan Cryer, Newsday "Jardine's lively book is specific and down-to-earth. A particularly fascinating section recalls how books suddenly ceased to be principally collector's items or aids to scholars and became the sixteenth century's Internet, dispensing fact and fancy to high and low."-The New Yorker
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