the pursuit of italy a history of a land its regions and their peoples

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The Pursuit Of Italy

Author : David Gilmour
ISBN : 9781466801547
Genre : History
File Size : 84. 40 MB
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One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year Did Garibaldi do Italy a disservice when he helped its disparate parts achieve unity? Was the goal of political unification a mistake? These questions are asked and answered in a number of ways in this engaging, original consideration of the many histories that contribute to the brilliance-and weakness-of Italy today. David Gilmour's wonderfully readable exploration of Italian life over the centuries is filled with provocative anecdotes as well as personal observations, and is peopled with the great figures of the Italian past-from Cicero and Virgil to Dante and the Medicis, from Garibaldi and Cavour to the controversial politicians of the twentieth century. Gilmour's wise account of the Risorgimento, the pivotal epoch in modern Italian history, debunks the nationalistic myths that surround it, though he paints a sympathetic portrait of Giuseppe Verdi, a beloved hero of the era. Gilmour shows that the glory of Italy has always lain in its regions, with their distinctive art, civic cultures, identities, and cuisines. Italy's inhabitants identified themselves not as Italians but as Tuscans and Venetians, Sicilians and Lombards, Neapolitans and Genoese. Italy's strength and culture still come from its regions rather than from its misconceived, mishandled notion of a unified nation. With The Pursuit of Italy, David Gilmour has provided a coherent, persuasive, and entertaining interpretation of the paradoxes of Italian life, past and present.

The Pursuit Of Italy

Author : David Gilmour
ISBN : 9780141043418
Genre : Italy
File Size : 36. 36 MB
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David Gilmour's captivating history tells the story of Italy from Virgil to Verdi and on to today. Filled with colourful figures, vivid detail and personal observations based on a lifelong love of Italy, it also debunks many of the myths surrounding the country. Gilmour shows that Italy's glory comes not from a unified national identity, but from its regions, with their distinctive art, cuisine, civic cultures and traditions. 'The best one-volume history of Italy now available . . . has the same tonic, exhilarating impact as the thigh-slapping overture to a Verdi opera.' Jonathan Keates, Literary Review 'Lucid and elegant, clever and provocative . . . Tracing Italy's history from Romulus and Remus to the misdemeanours of Silvio Berlusconi, Gilmour develops his thesis with wit, style, and a great deal of learning.' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times 'Elegantly written, stimulating, up-to-date.' Tony Barber, Financial Times, Books of the Year 'Wonderful . . . riveting . . . no better history book was published this year.' Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Observer, Books of the Year 'A witty guide with an elegant prose style and a mind delightfully furnished with anecdotes and dictums, sensual impressions and conversations. Its prose smells of a convivial meal eaten below a pergola in the Pisan hills.' Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Sunday Telegraph

The Pursuit Of Italy

Author : David Gilmour
ISBN : 9781846142512
Genre : History
File Size : 54. 79 MB
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Visiting a villa built by Lorenzo dé Medici outside Pisa, David Gilmour fell into conversation about the unification of Italy with a distinguished former minister: '"You know, Davide," he said in a low conspiratorial voice, as if uttering a heresy, "Garibaldi did Italy a great disservice. If he had not invaded Sicily and Naples, we in the north would have the richest and most civilized state in Europe." After looking cautiously round the room he added in an even lower voice, "Of course to the south we would have a neighbour like Egypt."' Was the elderly Italian right? Was the unification of Italy a mistake? The Pursuit of Italy traces the whole history of the Italian peninsula in a wonderfully readable style, full of well-chosen stories and observations from personal experience, and peopled by many of the great figures of the Italian past, from Cicero and Virgil to Dante and the Medici, from Cavour and Verdi to the controversial political figures of the twentieth century. The book gives a clear-eyed view of the Risorgimento, the pivotal event in modern Italian history, debunking the influential myths which have grown up around it. Gilmour shows that the glory of Italy has always lain in its regions, with their distinctive art, civic cultures, identities and cuisine. The regions produced the medieval communes and the Renaissance, the Venetian Republic and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, two of the most civilized states of European history. Their inhabitants identified themselves not as Italians, but as Tuscans and Venetians, Sicilians and Lombards, Neapolitans and Genoese. This is where the strength and culture of Italy still comes from, rather than from misconceived and mishandled concepts of nationalism and unity. This wise and enormously engaging book explains the course of Italian history in a manner and with a coherence which no one with an interest in the country could fail to enjoy.

A Concise History Of Italy

Author : Christopher Duggan
ISBN : 9780521760393
Genre : History
File Size : 57. 51 MB
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Comprehensively updated new edition of Christopher Duggan's acclaimed introduction to the history of Italy.

Italian Ways On And Off The Rails From Milan To Palermo

Author : Tim Parks
ISBN : 9780393348828
Genre : Transportation
File Size : 23. 97 MB
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An Italian travelogue describes the trains that traverse the country, from the architecture of old train stations to the new high-speed railways, and portrays the author's memorable encounters along the way.

Sprezzatura

Author : Peter D'Epiro
ISBN : 0307427927
Genre : History
File Size : 39. 81 MB
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A witty, erudite celebration of fifty great Italian cultural achievements that have significantly influenced Western civilization from the authors of What Are the Seven Wonders of the World? “Sprezzatura,” or the art of effortless mastery, was coined in 1528 by Baldassare Castiglione in The Book of the Courtier. No one has demonstrated effortless mastery throughout history quite like the Italians. From the Roman calendar and the creator of the modern orchestra (Claudio Monteverdi) to the beginnings of ballet and the creator of modern political science (Niccolò Machiavelli), Sprezzatura highlights fifty great Italian cultural achievements in a series of fifty information-packed essays in chronological order. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Italians

Author : John Hooper
ISBN : 9780525428077
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 77. 87 MB
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In a book perfect for anyone looking to understand modern Italy and the unique character of Italians, the author explores the history, culture and religion of the Italian people, shedding new light on many aspects of Italian life. Includes 2 maps. By the author of The New Spaniards.

La Bella Figura

Author : Beppe Severgnini
ISBN : 9780307486875
Genre : Travel
File Size : 85. 93 MB
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Join the bestselling author of Ciao, America! on a lively tour of modern Italy that takes you behind the seductive face it puts on for visitors—la bella figura—and highlights its maddening, paradoxical true self You won’t need luggage for this hypothetical and hilarious trip into the hearts and minds of Beppe Severgnini’s fellow Italians. In fact, Beppe would prefer if you left behind the baggage his crafty and elegant countrymen have smuggled into your subconscious. To get to his Italia, you’ll need to forget about your idealized notions of Italy. Although La Bella Figura will take you to legendary cities and scenic regions, your real destinations are the places where Italians are at their best, worst, and most authentic: The highway: in America, a red light has only one possible interpretation—Stop! An Italian red light doesn’t warn or order you as much as provide an invitation for reflection. The airport: where Italians prove that one of their virtues (an appreciation for beauty) is really a vice. Who cares if the beautiful girls hawking cell phones in airport kiosks stick you with an outdated model? That’s the price of gazing upon perfection. The small town: which demonstrates the Italian genius for pleasant living: “a congenial barber . . . a well-stocked newsstand . . . professionally made coffee and a proper pizza; bell towers we can recognize in the distance, and people with a kind word and a smile for everyone.” The chaos of the roads, the anarchy of the office, the theatrical spirit of the hypermarkets, and garrulous train journeys; the sensory reassurance of a church and the importance of the beach; the solitude of the soccer stadium and the crowded Italian bedroom; the vertical fixations of the apartment building and the horizontal democracy of the eat-in kitchen. As you venture to these and many other locations rooted in the Italian psyche, you realize that Beppe has become your Dante and shown you a country that “has too much style to be hell” but is “too disorderly to be heaven.” Ten days, thirty places. From north to south. From food to politics. From saintliness to sexuality. This ironic, methodical, and sentimental examination will help you understand why Italy—as Beppe says—“can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters or ten minutes.”

Italy

Author : Harry Hearder
ISBN : 0521000726
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 57 MB
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Presents a clear, concise account of Italian history from the Ice Age to the present.

The Dark Heart Of Italy

Author : Tobias Jones
ISBN : 9780865477001
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 21. 60 MB
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Jones recounts his four-year voyage across the Italian peninsula where, instead of the pastoral bliss he expected, he discovers unfathomable terrorism and deep-seated paranoia.

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