The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796 Review

The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796
Average Reviews:

(More customer reviews)
Are you looking to buy The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796? Here is the right place to find the great deals. we can offer discounts of up to 90% on The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796. Check out the link below:

>> Click Here to See Compare Prices and Get the Best Offers

The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796 ReviewProfessor Duggan has quite the tale to tell--the Risorgimento, its antecedents and its results, but more broadly, the intellectual themes and practical problems of the Risorgimento and how those themes and problems have affected the course of Italian history since 1796. Professor Duggan is obviously a master of his subject, which by itself would be a sufficient recommendation for this book. But as a wonderful bonus, Professor Duggan is a talented writer with a brisk style, a dry sense of humor (e.g., "In life Victor Emmanuel had been a rather poor national symbol, in death he was to make amends." (p. 305)) and an instinct for the telling detail (e.g., "D'Annunzio had always craved a beautiful death in a noble cause; throughout his life he had been haunted by the martyrdom of St. Sebastian." (p. 418)). The book includes dozens of quotations from contemporaneous sources illustrating Duggan's main points, which I won't repeat here because they are pretty well covered in the editorial reviews. I had the sense while reading this book that Professor Duggan probably had another 500 pages of materials he wanted to include, but his editors said "basta--enough!" I, however, would gladly have read another 500 pages; the book was an absolute page-turner.
My only disappointment is that the book does not cover post-WWII Italy in much detail, although according to Professor Duggan, all the Risorgimento themes and problems are still very much present in contemporary Italian society. It doubtless makes sense to wind the story down in the mid-1990's, but only about 10% of the book is devoted to the 50 years following 1946, or 25% of the time covered by the book. One can only hope that Professor Duggan is planning another book devoted solely to post-WWII Italy.
That said, I cannot recommend this book highly enough for all English-speakers who have fallen in love with Italy and want better to understand the object of their affections--and especially, her family quarrels and secrets.The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796 OverviewA sweeping, first-of-its-kind history of the creation of modern ItalyThe birth of modern Italy was a messy affair. Inspired by a small group of writers, intellectuals, and politicians, Italy struggled in the first half of the nineteenth century to unite all Italians under one rule, throwing aside a multitude of corrupt old rulers and foreign occupiers. In the midst of this turmoil, Italian politicians felt compelled by a "force of destiny" hideously at odds with Italian reality. After great sacrifice Italy was finally unified -- and turned out to be just as fragile, impoverished, and backward as it had been before. The resentments this created led to Italy's destructive role in World War I, the subsequent rise of Mussolini and authoritarianism in the 1920s and '30s, and the nation's humiliating defeat in World War II. This haunting legacy deeply informs the Italy of today.Christopher Duggan skillfully interweaves Italy's art, music, literature, and architecture with its economic and social realities and political development to tell this extraordinary European story. The first English-language book to cover the full scope of modern Italy, from its origins more than two hundred years ago to the present, The Force of Destiny is a brilliant and comprehensive study -- and a frightening example of how easily nation-building and nationalism can slip toward authoritarianism and war.

Want to learn more information about The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796?

>> Click Here to See All Customer Reviews & Ratings Now


Post a Comment