Francesco Guicciardini's sixteenth-century History of Italy is one of the most widely respected classics of Renaissance historiography. And it is one of the most universally neglected. This splendid new translation should go far toward correcting the latter situation. The chronological span of the book is not great, covering barely three decades (14931523). But it is a period that was not matched before, nor has it been equalled since, as the telescoping of an age; the age of Charles V, of the glory of the Medici, the ascendancy of the Borgias, Savonarola, Henry VIII, Julius II and Francis I. Guicciardini's style of narration was complex--Proustian, almost--and reflected the political and motivational complexities of his time. The translator, wisely, has not attempted to ""simplify"" his style for a less patient, or perhaps for a less literate, age, but has contented himself with abstracting those parts of the author's work which have no possible interest for any but the most devoted historian (e.g., the texts of treaties, etc.). He has thus faithfully conveyed the substance and the spirit of the book while eliminating the detritus of history. There will be some call for this hardcover edition, but the real market will be for a paperback version suitable for students.