Books: The Sword of God

THE LIFE OF GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA (325 pp.)—Roberto Ridolfi, translated by Cecil Grayson—Knopf ($7.50).

From the monastery he had entered a few days before, the youth wrote a letter: "For what do you weep, blind fools, why do you lament . . . ? What can I say of you if you grieve at this, if not that you are my chief enemies, and even the enemies of virtue?" Thus in 1474 did 21-year-old Girolamo Savonarola console his parents, whom he had left without warning and without a word of goodbye, to become a Dominican...

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