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Girolamo Savonarola, the fifteenth-century doom-saying friar, embraced the revolution of the Florentine republic and prophesied that it would become the center of a New Age of Christian renewal and world domination. This new biography, the culmination of many decades of study, presents an original interpretation of Savonarola's prophetic career and a highly nuanced assessment of his vision and motivations. Weinstein sorts out the multiple strands that connect Savonarola to his time and place, following him from his youthful rejection of a world he regarded as corrupt, to his engagement with that world to save it from itself, to his shattering confession-an admission that he had invented his prophesies and faked his visions. Was his confession sincere? A forgery circulated by his inquisitors? Or an attempt to escape bone-breaking torture? Weinstein offers a highly invative analysis of the testimony to provide the first truly satisfying account of Savonarola and his fate as a failed prophet.
Donald Weinstein is professor emeritus, University of Arizona. He is the author of several books on Italian history and is a world authority on Savonarola and the Italian Renaissance. He lives in Sonoita, AZ.