Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Book Reviews

These first two pictures are of the Duomo of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral in Florence, the subject of today's first book review.

I would like to recommend two more books for your reading pleasure if you are coming to Italy anytime soon.

Brunelleschi's Dome
by Ross King

A very fascinating look at the MacGyver like genius of the man who built the Duomo of Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. This man invented machines and created building principles in the early 1400's that were way ahead of his times.

An example of the difficulties faced in building this beautiful Cathedral, stone masons each day had to climb a staircase with their tools in hand to get to the upper levels of the Duomo. This was the equivalent of walking up a 40 story building each morning before starting to work!

If your name is Bill Gardner, you really might want to read about Brunelleschi! 

The Catholic Church in History
by Keith D. Lewis

Keith D. Lewis is a teacher at Camarillo's St. John's Seminary. This is a very balanced look at some of the most controversial moments in Roman Catholic Church history. Each chapter can be read independently of the others and cover topics like their role with Nazi Germany, Martin Luther, the Inquisition and missionaries in the New World and Asia.

If you are coming to Italy, so much of the cultural tourist sights revolve around Catholicism. This book may help in understanding what you are observing.

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