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The Renaissance Bazaar: From the Silk Road to Michelangelo

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  7 reviews
More than ever, the Renaissance stands as one of the defining moments in world history. Between 1400 and 1600, European perceptions of society, culture, politics and even humanity itself emerged in ways that continue to affect not only Europe but the entire world. This wide-ranging exploration of the Renaissance sees the period as a time of unprecedented intellectual excit ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published December 18th 2003 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published May 30th 2002)
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Lauren Albert
A decent introductory history. But I found myself constantly irritated by the author's tendency to give opinion and interpretation as fact (an assertive tone, for instance). Examples:

"Michelangelo's criticism [of van Eyck] smacks more of Italian cultural nationalism than objective criticism." Note that there is no mention of nationality in the cited passage.

"Vasari's account was a brilliant public relations exercise that validated the status of the artist as professional."

"This [the Arnolfini p
This is an egregious case of intellectual bait-and-switch. The author promises a radical reconsideration of the Renaissance in a global perspective that deemphasizes Italy and inserts the Ottoman Empire and point further east into the narrative. What he delivers is a familiar, traditional narrative of the same figures, events, works of art and literature. There are entire chapters in which no mention whatsoever is made of anything non-European, and when he does toss in a Ottoman example, it is u ...more
A slightly engaging read and short. There is one thing the name Istanbul was not actually used much later in history. The name Constantinople or Kostantiniyye was more widely used by the inhabitants of all faiths until 19th or 20th century. There is actually not as much about the Ottomans, Muslims or about the Silk Road as one would have hoped for.
I quite enjoyed reading The Renaissance Bazaar: From the Silk Road to Michelangelo. I was good to see that Muslim scientists acknowledged for contributions made that made the European Renaissance possible and how slavery began to take shape at that time.
Gary Christensen
Jun 29, 2008 Gary Christensen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book IS made from concentrate. It gives the Muslim world its due. After you see Topkapi in Istanbul, Florence feels saccharine. Spain comes off badly, as well. There's a lot of information well put and always engrossing.
Useful explanation of the impact of Eastern science and culture to the genesis of the Italian Renaissance.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Interesting theory and very nice illustrations.
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