The Elect Nation is the first comprehensive study of the religious, political and cultural movement inspired by Savonarola. Based on a thorough examination of archival material and manuscript sources, the book argues that the followers of Savonarola exercised a profound influence on every facet of Florentine life during the important period of the city's transition from republic to principate. It is the author's contention that their ideology and
activities provide the key to understanding not only the policital developments of the last years of the Florentine Republic, but also the nature of contemporary political debate and the characteristics of the merging
Medicean Principate.A major preoccupation of the book is to show how the Savonarolans as a group managed to survive the execution of their leaders and to regain their strength and influence. The author traces their networks of support and analyses the way in which they infiltrated and restructured existing Florentine institutions to their advantage. He also reveals how they exploited spiritual counselling and lay and religious partronage to expand their influence, and, in
particular, how they ensured the survival of their movement by forming an anti-Medicean alliance of republican forces in Florence.
`The narrative proceeds chronologically...constructing an argument that is both original and highly convincing. Exceptionally thorough scholarly apparatus. Recommended for upper-division, undergraduates and above.'
`Polizzotto...has written a definitive study based mainly on manuscript sources in some twenty archives but also employing the most recent secondary literature.'
Sixteenth Century Journal