In 1537 Francesco Guicciardini, adviser and confidant to three popes, governor of several central Italian states, ambassador, administrator, military captain--and persona non grata with the ruling Medici after the siege of Florence--retired to his villa to write a history of his times. His Storia d'Italia became the classic history of Italy--both a brilliant portrayal of the Renaissance and a penetrating vision into the tragedy and comedy of human history in general. Sidney Alexander's readable translation and abridgment of Guicciardini's four-volume work earned the prestigious 1970 P.E.N. Club translation award. His perceptive introduction and notes add much to the understanding of Guicciardini's masterpiece.
"Guicciardini's objectivity is awesome ... the combination of tumultuous events and the cold lunar language he uses to describe them gives his history its unique and incomparable cachet."--The New York Times