Sprezzatura by Peter D’Epiro and Mary Desmond Pinkowish

06 Dec Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World

Author: Peter D’Epiro and Mary Desmond Pinkowish

Publisher:  Anchor Books 2001

Genre: Nonfiction — history

Pages: 396

Rating:  4 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Dewey — 940s; My Years — 2001; Fall into Reading

How I Got It: Library loan

A witty, erudite celebration of fifty great Italian cultural achievements that have significantly influenced Western civilization from the authors of What Are the Seven Wonders of the World?
The word “sprezzatura,” or the art of effortless mastery, was coined in 1528 by Baldassare Castiglione in The Book of the Courtier. No one has demonstrated effortless mastery throughout history quite like the Italians. From the Roman calendar and the creator of the modern orchestra (Claudio Monteverdi) to the beginnings of ballet and the creator of modern political science (Niccolò Machiavelli), Sprezzatura highlights fifty great Italian cultural achievements in a series of fifty information-packed essays in chronological order.
A very detailed overview over 50 gifts from Italy.  I was familiar, at least in a general sense, with all 50 entrants.  I especially enjoyed the chapters on satire, the Roman Republic, Dante’s Divine Comedy, the legacy of law, and da Vinci.  While I overall enjoyed the volume, I didn’t dive completely in because of my prior knowledge.  I guess I am too much of a history buff truly enjoy skimming the topic books.  I need to grab onto deeper tomes.
Dewey Decimal SystemMy Years

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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Book Reviews



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