Tag: Venice

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When Charles V sacked Rome in 1527, that marked the end of the Renaissance in Italy. Only, not quite. In the years following, there was a last great flowering of art and culture in Venice, largely because that is where Titian was. But first, Durant wants to tell us about Aretino. Totally forgotten today, Aretino […]

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I return after much digression to the Renaissance. Those who have been following my comments on this book may have noticed a pattern in Durant’s writing. While not slighting entirely the history of people and events, he will always devote the greater part of his attention to the art and culture of the time. This […]

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Books as Christmas Gifts: Agents of Empire

 

AgentsOfEmpireThe high point of my academic career, as a career, was a letter. It came out of the blue, and it invited me to apply for a senior research fellowship at All Souls College. That post is the acme of the academic world — at least in the humanities. One has a good salary, a place of high honor, high table meals, elegant surroundings, access to one of the greatest libraries in the world, and no responsibilities at all, other than to do one’s own research — and someone (or, more likely, a committee of someones) thought that I just might be worthy.

That was something — especially since, after the publication of my 1200-page magnum opus Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical Republicanism and the American Revolution, which had received stellar reviews, had sold out in hardback in short order, had soon thereafter been republished as a three-volume paperback, and is now slated to appear in Chinese, I had applied for job after job in history departments and never even gotten an interview. It confirmed, among other things, my suspicion that, in the 1990s, in the American academic world there was an unwritten law: “Known conservatives need not apply.”

But here was validation. In a less politicized academic environment, the work had not only been noticed; its author had been thought a plausible candidate for high honor.