Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World by Thomas Cahill
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thomas Cahill's Heretics and Heroes is a great look at the interwoven connection between the Reformation and the Renaissance, taking in a large swath of the primary leaders in religion, politics and the artists during that time period.
To be honest, history buffs won't find much new here as Cahill runs over the basics on the various kings, queens, popes, bishops, painters and sculptors of the 14th through 17th centuries. Take this as a good intro to that period, covering what any history course or book would touch upon.
However, beyond that, it delves deeper into the specifics of religion's grip upon Europe at the time, never wholly with or against the grand edicts of the day. Balance and clear thought are struck through out.
A few relatively minor personages come in for a sort of Wikipedia treatment and add nuance to the history. These were some of my favorite passages in the book, perhaps because they were the least known stories to me. The world is a strange...mainly because of the nonsense us kookie humans have gotten up to.
This is my second Thomas Cahill and I enjoyed it a good deal more than the first, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter. It made me feel more confident about this writer, enough that perhaps now I'll overcome move my fear of overhype and move on to his most popular book, How the Irish Saved Civilization.
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