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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Binding: Paperback / Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade / Pub. Date: 2003-01-01 Attributes: Book, 592 pp / Stock#: 2063258 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics, 1943-1988 Paperback – January 1, 2003


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A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics, 1943-1988 + Italy and Its Discontents: Family, Civil Society, State + A Concise History of Italy (Cambridge Concise Histories)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403961530
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403961532
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...the best single work on postwar Italian history...readers will find this work invaluable."--John S. Hill, History: Reviews of New Books

"A work of major importance. It has a moral grandeur and a coherence of interpretation and approach that all in all likelihood will ensure it classic status... No future account of the Italian republic will be able to ignore it." -- Christopher Duggan, The Times Literary Supplement

"The achievement of Paul Ginsborg's massive volume is that the political drama is brilliantly interwoven with the whole cultural and economic history of the country... Page after page may be read with interest and delight by all true English lovers of Italy." -- Michael Foot, Guardian

"This is the best account of contemporary Italian history available to the English reader." -- Jonathan Morris, The Times

About the Author

Paul Ginsborg is Professor of Contemporary European History at the University of Florence. His previous publications include Daniele Manin and the Venetian Revolution of 1848-1849.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
A History Of Contemporary Italy: Society And Politics 1943-1988 by Paul Ginsborg (Professor of Contemporary European History, University of Florence) is an in-depth survey of Italy's social and political dynamics that saw it evolve from a war-torn and poverty-stricken, primarily agrarian country, into a prosperous, politically stable member of the European community. Here ably and accessibly recounted are the events, personalities, and reforms that were critical to eventually overcoming endemic and persistence corruptions, shortages, and obstacles necessary before the tremendous achievements of contemporary Italy and its eventual entrance into the European Union. A History Of Contemporary Italy: Society And Politics 1943-1988 is a scholarly, meticulous history and a welcome and recommended contribution to European International Studies and 20th Century Italian History reference collections and reading lists.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andre' on January 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
... for anyone interested in an extremely rich and contradictory social environment such as Italy after WWII. It is a complete, clear, and deeply intriguing work that I strongly recommend.
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By S Wood on March 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Paul Ginsborg's "A History of Contemporary Italy" begins with the Italians reaping the disastrous rewards of over two decades of Mussolini's rule. The Allies have invaded southern Italy, and on the removal of El Duce the Germans invade from the north. The author expertly portrays the chaotic situation, with an increasingly popular Resistance in the north fighting the Germans who are themselves trying to consolidate their control and stop the Allied forces from battling their way up the peninsula towards Germany itself.

Ginsborg is particularly good on the tensions between the Resistance (largely formed of Communists) and the Allies along with the Italian government formed after Mussolini was deposed. It is clear, that as in Greece, the Allies have no intention of leaving the Italians to sort out their own political future and clearly favour the right, particularly but not exclusively those who kept their hands relatively clean during the fascist era. This goes as far as - minimally - looking the other way as the Mafia re-established themselves in Sicily.

The book is broadly sympathetic to the left in Italy but without compromising on impartially telling the story of Italy's recovery under the Christian Democrats, or the limitations of the left themselves. This reader, for one, ended up wishing that the Communists had sent their leader Togliatti back to Moscow, along with the Stalinist style structures which weighed the party down and his policy of appeasement vis-à-vis the Christian Democrats which achieved nothing.

Ginsborg's attention is focussed primarily on social, political and economic developments as they evolved during the post-war recovery and beyond.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Harold Kaplan on January 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
As good as the critics say-- well-written, based on very extensive Italian sources. But written from a far-Left perspective. Ginsborg wants to see Italian capitalism destroyed but he doesn't tell us how this is to occur -- presumably not through the ballot box-- and he doesn't tell us what will be put in its place. This permits him to criticize everything and be held responsible for nothing.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Barone on April 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Perhaps I underrate Paul Ginsborg. His books are well researched and informative but to my mind he can't keep his leftist sympathies from intruding into his works. I had the same problem with his later work "Italy and Its Discontents" HIs style is didactic in the extreme. Instead of letting the facts speak for themselves he usually tells the reader what conclusion he should reach beforehand. He is entirely too forgiving of the Italian Communist leader Togliatti, who as a Stalinist was complicit in mass murder on a vast scale, and while his criticism of the Christian Democrats is often justified, he never recognizes what a disaster a turn to the left would have been for Italy. The book is useful but deeply flawed.
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