Venice

Venice

A New History

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
5
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An extraordinary chronicle of Venice, its people, and its grandeur Thomas Madden's majestic, sprawling history of Venice is the first full portrait of the city in English in almost thirty years.
Publisher: New York : Viking, c2012
ISBN: 9780670025428
Branch Call Number: 945.311 MAD
Characteristics: xi, 446 p., [8] p. of col. plates : ill. (chiefly col.), maps ; 24 cm

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j
JulieTubman
Aug 22, 2017

A fascinating read.

f
filmbufs
Jul 16, 2016

Venice is a fascinating city and it is equally fascinating to read about the necessity, development and evolution of this remarkable place. This is a far cry from a dry account of historical people and meaningless dates, rather is it written more like a story, with a context surrounding important events. I've never been a history buff but, apparently, with the right well-written book, I was hooked.

r
rusty_13
Jul 18, 2014

This is a remarkable book, spanning Venice's fascinating history, from its start as a lagoon refuge to present day, as a top tourist destination. Well-written and full of captivating stories, this is a great read.

m
megaculpa
Aug 17, 2013

For the most part, this new history is a political and military chronology -- albeit an entertaining and informative one, thanks to the author's lucid style. The way he weaves the story of Venice into the fabric of European history is masterful. But it takes nearly 300 pages before there is any discussion of Venetian art, architecture or commerce. We meet all the doges, generals and bishops, but there are few glimpses of what life in Venice was like.

r
ReidCooper
Aug 05, 2013

Written almost as narrative rather than history, Madden's popular history of Venice often almost feels more like a novel. In many ways, that can make this an an enjoyable, easy to read book. But there are real problems. One, Madden's bias towards Venice - and Venice as he interpretes its history - is very marked, which can weaken the book's value as an overview of the Republic of Venice. Two, part of Madden's bias is a political one, and more than once he puts in ideological asides that really add no clarity and for which he presents no evidence. Three, being a popular history, there are no footnotes, so if you see claims made that run counter to other accounts of the same events you've read elsewhere, it's not obvious how to weigh them against each other.

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