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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Tales of Titans, Vol. 2: From the Renaissance to the Electro/Atomic Age is a nonfiction collection of biographical essays written by Rich DiSilvio. In this second volume, DiSilvio starts with a survey of the Renaissance, beginning with the Medicis and concluding with a look at Einstein, Fermi and Wernher Von Braun. He discusses how the Renaissance was the result of “three milestones of human advancement,” which began with the establishment of a medical center in Salerno and the first university in Bologna, and then the efforts of Giovanni de Medici in Florence. DiSilvio captures the essence of each Titan in his historical series, giving just enough detail and background to make the personages come alive and to allow readers to see the interconnectedness of human endeavor. He also includes an extensive list of primary sources.
Rich DiSilvio’s nonfiction collection of biographical essays, Tales of Titans, Vol. 2: From the Renaissance to the Electro/Atomic Age, is the perfect way to refresh your knowledge of history from the Renaissance to the dawn of the Atomic Age. While the length of the volume itself may be deceptively slim, DiSilvio’s biographical essays are packed with details and enhanced with his own measured and scholarly take on history and human progress. I also read his first book in this three-part series, From Rome to the Renaissance, and appreciated how the historical thread continues so smoothly between that book and this. I was particularly interested in his discussions of Galileo and Darwin, as well as in his essays on Marconi and Tesla. DiSilvio seems to have a gift at finding connections that will surprise and delight his reader, such as the fact that Tesla and Mark Twain were friends. Tales of Titans, Vol. 2: From the Renaissance to the Electro/Atomic Age is a welcome refresher as well as an intriguing intro for further historical studies, and it’s most highly recommended.