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Autobiography of a Generation: Italy, 1968 Hardcover – August 15, 1996


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From Publishers Weekly

With a surprisingly fluid mix of autobiography and interviews, Passerini studies both Italy's 1968 student uprisings and her own psyche. Chapters alternate between sections from Passerini's journals (organized roughly by month) and bits from interviews with former student radicals. While the final pastiche has some holes, it is an interesting juxtaposition of the personal and the political, further helped by a clear, uncluttered translation. Passerini's journal concentrates greatly on a failed love affair and her continuing psychoanalysis, but her occasional obliqueness (e.g., the reader is never completely informed about the affair) prevents the appearance of self-indulgence. Passerini is as forthright and insightful about herself as she is about others: at one point, she even details her adherence to a Steiner purification diet that involved a "negation of heritage"--that is, relinquishing wine, coffee, milk and meat. The interviews are more distinctly "historical" but also incorporate some biographical information. Passerini tends to interpret the interviews with a feminist perspective and also notes that the 1968 movement excluded women from its leadership while encouraging a sort of homoerotic cult around its charismatic male leaders. The former radicals are particularly revealing when commenting on their families. Many recall their mothers as having little to say about politics and their fathers as left-wingers who toed the party line but avoided personal involvement. "A Communist father is delighted for his daughter to preach free love, but can't stand for her to practice it."

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

." . . a surprisingly fluid mix of autobiography and interviews. . . . an interesting juxtaposition of the personal and the political, further helped by a clear, uncluttered translation."--Publishers Weekly
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