From Library Journal
Defining a nation's identity can involve the use of an "other," a foreign and alien group to which the bourgeoisie can (favorably) compare themselves. For newly united Italy in the late 19th century, that group was its own southern inhabitants, especially Sicilians. Southerners were seen as violent, ill-mannered brigands and peasants, barely able to function in a civilized, industrialized society. Dickie (Italian studies, Univ. College, London) sketches aspects of this dialectic in four short essays, examining the objectification of southerners by politicians, writers, and the public at large. Dickie's tone is dense and theoretical enough to limit its audience to advanced scholars. Some of the sections are too narrow and specific, while others try to tackle too many topics too quickly. While some good points are made, the result is somewhat esoteric. For academic libraries with strong Italy collections only.ARobert Persing, Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib., Philadelphia
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"This interpretive study. . .is attractively well-written." --American Historical Review