The Renaissance (The Story of Civilization V) by Will Durant
I find that my reviews of Will Durant’s Story of Civilization have mostly taken the form of quoting some wonderful passage, standing back, and saying “Isn’t that amazing? And that’s just one part of a gigantic thing of beauty.” And this will be no different. Durant, writing of the Renaissance, describes a nexus of mindsets that many ages have shared in, but which the Renaissance embodied: “Enlightenment is of minorities, and emancipation is individual; minds are not freed en masse. A few skeptics might protest against false relics and bogus miracles and indulgences offering promissory notes for cash; but the people accepted them with awe and hope.” How true this notion rings through history and yet how resonant it is during the Renaissance. Durant, as always, a master of the past, the present, and of the condition human history.