This was a tough short book to get through. It is a series of essays on important figures from Renaissance Italy. The essays were generally vague, random, and never had a focus on a particular aspect of its subject. There was no introduction or reason for the particular order of the essays. Often, I found that if I didn't have a knowledge background for a particular figure, I was completely lost as to what the author was talking about. I felt like I did get a decent impression of what Renaissance Italy looked like, but there are certainly better books out there that I could have read.