The author does a thorough job of interweaving the major events of the lives of Leonardo da Vinci, Cesare Borgia, and Machiavelli, against the backdrop of Italian Renaissance politics.
I originally bought this book prior to visiting Italy. However some of the other purchases I made at the same time were easier reading, and I couldn't get into this one. After watching a series on the Borgias on Netflix as well as seeing many of the places mentioned in the work, I finally read it. This is a good basic history of many of the major events and people of Florence during the high Renaissance, and if I return to Italy, I will read it again.
I have tried to read Machiavelli's The Prince a number of times and didn't find it all that engrossing. Now that I know more about the Borgias, I have a better context for understanding The Prince and plan to tackle it again.
When learning about the three subjects -- Da Vinci, Machiavelli and Borgia -- one often reads books only about one of the subjects, even though the other two are very much intertwined with the others. In order to fully appreciate and understand any of these three men and how their actions not only affected the world they lived in (and in turn have affected Western Civilization since their existence), one must understand how their actions were also affected by the other two. The interplay between these three men makes them totally interconnected both to their actions on civilization, both in their time and since, as well as how they themselves reacted to within their own lifetime. This book connects this aspect in a way that is much easier to understand when reading about the men individually. A unique perspective as well good reading.
This is an excellent book with real insight into the relationship between Di Vinci; Machiavelli; and Borgia. Most, including me, did not know that they even knew each other.
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