RENAISSANCE AND REVOLUTION by Joseph Mazzeo

RENAISSANCE AND REVOLUTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As an historical term, the Renaissance refers broadly to the period of transition between the medieval and modern worlds, beginning with the Italian humanists and extending into the Elizabethan era, touching a conglomeration of men, movements and nations. Culturally, its references are so wide, whether in philosophy, literature or art, that any author dealing with the subject has two possibilities: either a jumbosized panoramic account, or a pointedly ""limited"" study. Professor Mazzeo has wisely chosen the latter course and concentrates on four archetypal figures, with an introductory chapter examining the Greek revival and new education, and a closing chapter (the best in the book) discussing the conflicting claims of science and poetry within both the framework of the Renaissance: and present day thought, thereby clarifying a thorny issue. His choices, of Course, are extremely personal, and while no one could quarrel over the inclusion of Machiavelli, the remaining three-Castiglione, Bacon, Hobbes- are certainly problematic. Nevertheless, Montaigne's idea of the Self filters through Castiglione's Courtier, and Galileo and Descartes are represented in the chapter on Bacon, while the Hobbes essay leads to the principle of secular, organization and progress elaborated upon in the above-mentioned conclusion. The book therefore is tightly structured. The professor's analyses are sharp, thorough, scholarly without boring pedantry. An excellent work.

Publisher: Pantheon