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The Last Days of the Renaissance: & the March to Modernity
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The Last Days of the Renaissance: & the March to Modernity

3.3  ·  Rating details ·  54 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
There is little debate that the Renaissance began at the end of the fourteenth century. Its end, though, is much more difficult to pin down. Here, for the first time, renowned classicist Theodore Rabb defines the changes that marked the shift away from the Renaissance to Modernity, and explains why these changes took place. The European Renaissance is usually characterized ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Basic Books (first published 2006)
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Saettare
A popularizing account (written for a general audience, the publisher's name "Basic Books" says it all) of the Renaissance by a Princeton professor characterized by a "longue durèe" approach to historiography. He gives a pretty standard by-the-book vision of the period that begins with Petrarch and the rebirth of Classical learning and ends with the overturning of Classical authority by the horizon-expanding field of Modern knowledge.

Perhaps what makes his approach distinctly his own is that his
...more
Charles Nicholas Saenz
Sep 11, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Like bees to honey, historians are attracted to historical periodization. As an academic pursuit, the task of defining historical periods is a sticky subject - the value of which is rather questionable. In particular, defining the start and end of any period can prove a difficlt one. Though the rise of Italian urban life in the fourteenth century offers a common point by which to date the start of the Renaissance for may scholars, the precise end remains an unsolved question.

Theodore Rabb's "The
...more
Ms. Carlino
This was a doozy for me...I very clearly remember why history was never my favorite school subject. The number of dates and references in this text made it immensely slow reading for me and I had to really WORK at it. This is a reminder to me of how fiction is for some of my students: work.

I am proud of myself for reading this and feel I've learned interesting information, but I don't see myself delving into another history text any time soon!
Diane
Oct 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Readable history of the rise and decline of the Renaissance. The author concentrates on describing the basic assumptions on the Medieval, Renaissance, and early modern periods, and discussing the causes of change. The title is something of a misnomer, the book is actually an overall history of the Renaissance, from its emergence to its demise.
Kristin
Nov 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, school
I'd really give it a 3.5. Read it for my Renaissance History class and liked what it had to offer, but felt that it was - not disorganized, but rather thrown at the reader in an overwhelming way, presuming quite a bit of background. I got most of the early Renaissance stuff, but not the later because we focused mainly on Italy during the class, and there is a major group of scholars who see the Renaissance as having happened in Italy and the spread of Renaissance ideas in Europe as being just th ...more
Emily
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this for my AP European history class and wrote a paper on it. That was two years ago, and looking back on reading this book- the only things I remember are note-taking and hating every second of reading it.
I don't actually remember anything about the book, which is weird because I usually do when I read about history, which probably means that it wasn't very good.
Good books are supposed to be memorable.
Miriam
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As long as you are looking for an overview of the Renaissance, and not an academic study, this is excellent. Rabb avoids the dangers of oversimplifying the causes of historical change and instead highlights the interplay among technology, ideas, and behaviours. Especially enjoyable for the non-art historian is his ability to draw connections between the philosophical changes and their appearance in the major works of art of the day, including opera.
Jen
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Matthew had to read this for AP European History and said it was good. So, I picked it up. He was right, it was really good. This is a very readable text covering the institutions that formed the Medieval period, how they worked and changed during the Renaissance, and what happened to them that led to the last days of the Renaissance. Good stuff!
Haley
I had to read this for my history class and write a 5 page review so If you want to know what I think ask my history teacher. No just kidding i'll tell you. If you are interested in the Renaissance this is something I think you should read. The author makes it very easy to understand and the information is not a dense as you would think. It is very light and really interesting.
Joe Davis
Aug 23, 2010 rated it liked it
More of an extended overview in essay form then a full scholarly undertaking, this is a solid overview of this period of time. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a bit more context for our current period, by reflecting on what has come before.
Jonathan
Feb 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad if you have a couple of hours to kill on a flight.
Albie
The Last Days of the Renaissance: & the March to Modernity by Theodore K. Rabb (2006)
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