Medici Money by Tim Parks
Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence (Enterprise)

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Synopsis

The Medici are famous as the rulers of Florence at the high point of the Renaissance. Their power derived from the family bank, and this book tells the fascinating, frequently bloody story of the family and the dramatic development and collapse of their bank (from Cosimo who took it over in 1419 to his grandson Lorenzo the Magnificent who presided over its precipitous decline). The Medici faced two apparently insuperable problems: how did a banker deal with the fact that the Church regarded interest as a sin and had made it illegal? How in a small republic like Florence could he avoid having his wealth taken away by taxation? But the bank became indispensable to the Church. And the family completely subverted Florence's claims to being democratic. They ran the city. Medici Money explores a crucial moment in the passage from the Middle Ages to the Modern world, a moment when our own attitudes to money and morals were being formed. To read this book is to understand how much the Renaissance has to tell us about our own world. Medici Money is one of the launch titles in a new series, Atlas Books, edited by James Atlas. Atlas Books pairs fine writers with stories of the economic forces that have shaped the world, in a new genre - the business book as literature.

 

About Tim Parks

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TIM PARKS is the author of novels, nonfiction, and essays. He has won the Somerset Maugham, Betty Trask, and Llewellyn Rhys awards and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His works include Destiny, Europa, Dreams of Rivers and Seas, Italian Neighbors, An Italian Education, and A Season with Verona.
 
Published August 22, 2013 by Profile Books. 288 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Medici Money

Kirkus Reviews

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Parks’s narrative of the conflation of state power and the power of business, frequently told in the present tense, often in sentence fragments, flows like money.

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The Guardian

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Medici Money by Tim Parks Profile Books £15.99, pp288 The late summer of 1433 was a pivotal moment in the history of the Medici family, famous today as the greatest of all Renaissance patrons and money-lenders.

Jun 12 2005 | Read Full Review of Medici Money: Banking, Metaph...

The Guardian

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Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florenceby Tim Parks 286pp, Profile, £15.99 Despite the trail of financial and political failure they left, we remember the Medici with dazzlement largely for two reasons.

May 28 2005 | Read Full Review of Medici Money: Banking, Metaph...

BC Books

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Medici Money zooms in on the famous - or infamous - Medici banking dynasty, beginning with the prudent Giovanni di' Benci de Medici in the late 1300s to 'Il Magnifico', Lorenzo de Medici, who sent the company bankrupt, but in grand style.

Nov 29 2005 | Read Full Review of Medici Money: Banking, Metaph...

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