Venice and Amsterdam
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Venice and Amsterdam : Study of Seventeenth-century Elites

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"Venice and Amsterdam" is a work of comparative history which examines the elites or ruling groups of two major cities in early modern Europe. By describing these elites and their similarities and differences, Burke is able to illuminate the societies which gave rise to them and to analyze some of the broader changes which were taking place in the course of the seventeenth century. Focusing on the lives of 563 individuals - the procuratori di San Marco in Venice and the aldermen and burgomasters of Amsterdam - Burke examines the ways in which the elites recruited themselves, their wealth and their power; he describes their life-styles, their attitudes and values, and their tastes in the arts; and he analyzes their training from childhood via school and possibly university to their political apprenticeship. The lives of these elite individuals are related to changes which were taking place in Venice and Amsterdam and in the wider societies of which these cities were part. An attempt to write 'total history' on a small scale, "Venice and Amsterdam" is an exemplary study in comparative history. The text has been thoroughly revised and updated for this new edition.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 206 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 272.15g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0745613241
  • 9780745613246
  • 1,406,572

Back cover copy

Venice and Amsterdam is a work of comparative history which examines the elites or ruling groups of two major cities in early modern Europe. By describing these elites and their similarities and differences, Burke is able to illuminate the societies which gave rise to them and to analyze some of the broader changes which were taking place in the course of the seventeenth century. Focusing on the lives of 563 individuals - the procuratori di San Marco in Venice and the aldermen and burgomasters of Amsterdam - Burke examines the ways in which the elites recruited themselves, their wealth and their power; he describes their life-styles, their attitudes and values, and their tastes in the arts; and he analyzes their training from childhood via school and possibly university to their political apprenticeship. The lives of these elite individuals are related to changes which were taking place in Venice and Amsterdam and in the wider societies of which these cities were part.

An attempt to write 'total history' on a small scale, Venice and Amsterdam is an exemplary study in comparative history. The text has been thoroughly revised and updated for this new edition.
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Review quote

'His book is most enjoyable and should appeal not only to the historian but to the interested visitor of these two beautiful cities.' The Guardian
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About Peter Burke

Peter Burke is Reader in Cultural History and Fellow of Emmanuel College, at the University of Cambridge. A sucessful author, his pblished works include The Art of Conversation (Polity, 1993), and The Italian Renaissance (Polity, 1987).
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Table of contents

Abbreviations.Introduction to the Second Edition.1. The Study of Elites.2. Structure. 3. Political Functions.4. Economic Base.5. Style of Life.6. Training.7. Attitudes and Values.8. Patronage of the Arts.9. From Entrepreneurs to Rentiers.Appendix: The Investments of the Amsterdam Elite.Bibliography.Index.
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Rating details

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