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Good Italy, Bad Italy: Why Italy Must Conquer Its Demons to Face the Future Hardcover – August 14, 2012


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Good Italy, Bad Italy: Why Italy Must Conquer Its Demons to Face the Future + The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples + Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Tra edition (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300186304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300186307
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #846,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Travelers to Italy this summer may find economic catastrophe as omnipresent as monuments and sidewalk cafes, according to this former editor-in-chief of the Economist. Emmott’s breezy narrative provides a quick overview of the beleaguered Italian economy and sketches some background causes for its woes before offering glimpses of a brighter future.”—Publishers Weekly
(Publishers Weekly)

“Display(s) rigorous research, clear-sighted analysis, and engaging, concise writing.”—Macleans
(Macleans)

“Emmott writes clearly and succinctly.”—Foreign Affairs
(Foreign Affairs)

About the Author

Bill Emmott was editor-in-chief of The Economist and is now a freelance commentator on international affairs. He divides his time between London and Somerset, UK.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By YH Chen on November 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The author's credentials as the former editor-in-chief of The Economist was a key attraction for me: I expected engaging accounts that would provide real insight on what are working and not working in Italy. Unfortunately, I found the book disappointingly lacking in both insight and engagement. In most cases, the "before" and "after" of various reforms are recounted without any description of how they were accomplished. In discussing of the reforms at Turin's Egyptian museum, for example, we are told that after some "tussels" with employees, the new director magically accomplished changes in their work habits, without a single word on how that was done. Lots of interesting statistics are cited without any further elaboration. As someone who is a relative newcomer to Italy's modern political and economic woes, I feel that I learned nothing new from reading this book, which could have been so much more interesting and informative.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael V on December 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I too was attracted by the author's role at The Economist, and by an interview with him on NPR. However, the book is disappointing. It was first written in Italian -- by the way, being able to write in Italian does not make one an expert on Italy -- and then translated into English. The translation is terrible -- for example, "The modern character of Italy's new democratic crisis is its mediatic nature ...". What the heck does "mediatic" mean? It's not in my dictionary. Apparently it means "media-centric" or something similar. But the sentence as a whole is poorly constructed; what does "modern character" refer to? Does the crisis have a character that is not modern? This may sound pedantic, but the reader is often required to do a lot of work to understand what the author is saying (and sometimes it's not really clear what that is). Many sentences are very long -- this is a feature of articles in Italian newspapers, but has no place in a book in English. By "long" I mean ten lines or more, phrase piled upon phrase, requiring much more effort to untangle than the content warrants. The author must be able to write clear, straightforward English -- he worked at a leading magazine for more than 25 years. It is a shame that he did not rewrite his own book in that straightforward way.
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Format: Hardcover
Very well written book. Topic is serious, but the writing is breezy. The book is written by a Brit, who published an earlier version of the book in Italian. So clearly he is knowledgeable to write about Italy. The topic is politics and business in Italy. The book is not focused on the numbers, but on a qualitative understanding of what is happening. It is an insightful description at a level of detail that is not common in English.

The book's content is worth four stars, but since the book is so well-written I have decided to give it a five star rating
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