Giordano Bruno : Philosopher/ Heretic

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Giordano Bruno (1548‰ÛÒ1600) is one of the great figures of early modern Europe, and one of the least understood. Ingrid D. Rowland‰_s biography establishes him once and for all as a peer of Erasmus, Shakespeare, and Galileo‰ÛÓa thinker whose vision of the world prefigures ours.

Writing with great verve and erudition, Rowland traces Bruno‰_s wanderings through a sixteenth-century Europe where every certainty of religion and philosophy has been called into question, and reveals how he valiantly defended his ideas to the very end, when he was burned at the stake as a heretic on Rome‰_s Campo de‰_ Fiori.

‰ÛÏA loving and thoughtful account of [Bruno‰_s] life and thought, satires and sonnets, dialogues and lesson plans, vagabond days and star-spangled nights. . . . Ingrid D. Rowland has her reasons for preferring Bruno to Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, even Galileo and Leonardo, and they‰_re good ones.‰_‰ÛÓJohn Leonard, Harper‰_s

‰ÛÏWhatever else Bruno was, he was wild-minded and extreme, and Rowland communicates this, together with a sense of the excitement that his ideas gave him. . . . It‰_s that feeling for the explosiveness of the period, and [Rowland‰_s] admiration of Bruno for participating in it‰ÛÓindeed, dying for it‰ÛÓthat is the central and most cherishable quality of the biography.‰_‰ÛÓJoan Acocella, New Yorker

‰ÛÏRowland tells this great story in moving, vivid prose, concentrating as much on Bruno‰_s thought as on his life. . . . His restless mind, as she makes clear, not only explored but transformed the heavens.‰_‰ÛÓAnthony Grafton, New York Review of Books

‰ÛÏ[Bruno] seems to have been an unclassifiable mixture of foul-mouthed Neapolitan mountebank, loquacious poet, religious reformer, scholastic philosopher, and slightly wacky astronomer.‰_‰ÛÓAnthony Gottlieb, New York Times Book Review

‰ÛÏA marvelous feat of scholarship. . . . This is intellectual biography at its best.‰_‰ÛÓPeter N. Miller, New Republic

‰ÛÏAn excellent starting point for anyone who wants to rediscover the historical figure concealed beneath the cowl on Campo de‰_ Fiori.‰_‰ÛÓPaula Findlen, Nation

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