- Paperback: 500 pages
- Publisher: Penguin UK; First Edition edition (August 26, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141013907
- ISBN-13: 978-0141013909
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,380,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Force of Destiny: A History Of Italy Since 1796 Paperback – International Edition, August 26, 2008
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About the Author
Christopher Duggan is Professor of Italian History at the University of Reading. He is the author of Fascism and the Mafia.
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I do have one caveat. From about page 50 to about 150, the author repeatedly went off on a tangent with discussions of art and literature that got a bit abstract. For a time I wasn't sure I was reading a history of Italy or a history of Italian art. But that aside, I highly recommend this as a way to get an understanding of this complex and interesting country.
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.