Synopses & Reviews
Before they achieved renown as patrons of the arts and de facto rulers of Florence, the Medici family earned their fortune in banking. But even at the height of the Renaissance, charging interest of any kind meant running afoul of the Catholic Church's ban on usury. Tim Parks reveals how the legendary Medicis--Cosimo and Lorenzo "the Magnificent" in particular--used the diplomatic, military, and even metaphysical tools at hand, along with a healthy dose of intrigue and wit, to further their fortunes as well as their family's standing.
A model for all economic historians. . . . Parks, who is skeptical about bankers, writes about them with pace, wit, and some passion.Marvelously entertaining. . . . Parks displays a keen observance of people"s complexities and malleable motives in this account of the fabled Medici dynasty. -- Gilbert Taylor
"A swift and brilliant synthesis of finance, politics, and history."--Ben Sisario,
Before they achieved renown as patrons of thearts and de facto rulers of Florence, the Medici family earned their fortune in banking. But evenat the height of the Renaissance, charginginterest of any kind meant running afoul of theCatholic Church's ban on usury. Tim Parksreveals how the legendary Medicis-Cosimo andLorenzo the Magnificent in particular-used the diplomatic, military, and even metaphysical tools at hand, along with a healthy dose of intrigueand wit, to further their fortunes as well astheir family's standing.
Fascinating . . . elegantly told.
About the Author
Tim Parks was born in Manchester, England, in 1954, grew up in London, and has lived in Italy since 1981. His novels include Europa, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and he is the author of several nonfiction accounts of life in Italy, including Italian Neighbors and An Italian Education. During his years in Italy, Parks has translated works by Italo Calvino, Roberto Calasso, Alberto Moravia, and Machiavelli. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, for which he blogs.