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Richard A. Goldthwaite is professor emeritus of history at the Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of The Building of Renaissance Florence: An Economic and Social History and Wealth and the Demand for Art in Italy, 1300-1600, both also published by Johns Hopkins.
Renaissance Florence has no more able defender in recent times than Professor Richard Goldthwaite. Washington Post Book World Richard Goldthwaite has served a long apprenticeship. As a dedicated student of the economy of Florence between the 13th and 16th centuries, he has published studies of the city's buildings and banks, its private wealth and the demand for its art. Now he has stood back and produced a magisterial history which brings all the strands of the story together and becomes, among its other virtues, a persuasive account of early capitalism. Economist Johns Hopkins University Press deserves praise for having so ably edited and published such a big book in this age of contraction and cost-cutting. It and the author have given us one of the most important books in Renaissance history to have appeared in many years: not simply a long-needed synthesis but a stimulating, insightful work that will guide research for a long time to come. -- Robert S. DuPlessis Renaissance Quarterly This book marks a crowning achievement of a distinguished academic career, and it achieves both authority in its exposition and modesty in its tone. An essential read for scholars interested in the study of Florence, and historical economics. -- Nicola Jones H-Italy, H-Net Reviews It is hard to do justice to so large, complex, and informative a work. A synthesis of the Florentine economy is a monumental undertaking. Goldthwaite offers a compelling image, which, like all such images, will draw its critics and admirers and set the parameters of the field for decades. -- Thomas Kuehn Journal of Modern History Masterful. So thorough, so inclusive, and so wide-ranging that its omission from the bibliography of on any future study on the Italian Renaissance will be a noticeable oversight. -- Brian Maxson Canadian Journal of History A highly readable, lashivly detailed study that much become essential reading. -- Nicholas Scott Baker European History Quarterly An important model that will be impossible for any future student of Florence's economic history to ignore. -- Franca R. Barricelli Journal of World History This book is essential reading not only for economic historians... but also for historians of Renaissance Florence generally. The Economy of Renaissance Florence will remain an indispensable point of reference and departure for research in the field for decades to come. -- Lawrin Armstrong Renaissance and Reformation Few people who know so much write so attractively as [Goldthwaite]. Take him as a model. Chronique