The Unarmed Prophet: Savonarola in Florence

Rachel Erlanger, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $19.95 (340p) ISBN 978-0-07-019602-5
In this biography of Savonarola, the 15th century friar-preacher, Erlanger (Lucrezia Borgia) looks for contemporary parallels. She argues that the apocalyptical harangues of the ayatollah, of the fundamentalists and other zealots, hark back to the fiery preaching of the priest who inveighed against the excesses of the new humanism then sweeping Florence, who faced down not only the corrupt Medicis, but also tilted with a Borgia Pope and the King of France, beginning an inevitable march to the scaffold to be burned as a heretic. Erlanger ably encapsulates the convoluted political and religious history of Florence and the squalid machinations of Renaissance ecclesiastics, recreating the turbulent story of the firebrand friar of San Marco, who made history but remains an enigma. Photos not seen by PW. (November 23)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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