Thursday, December 1, 2011
On the Nature of Things
Not really American history, but Stephen Greenblatt took home the National Book Award for The Swerve, in which he unwinds the tangled origins of the Renaissance, by focusing on an unlikely early 15th century protagonist, Poggio Bracciolini, who unearths a "bargain prose translation of Lucretius’s 2,000-year-old De rerum natura (“On the Nature of Things”) and discovers one of the most subversive poems ever written." It sounds like something Umberto Eco would write. The book has received rave reviews far and wide, including this one in The Telegraph.