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Modern Naples: A Documentary History, 1799-1999 (Documentary History of Naples) Paperback – March, 2001
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From the Publisher
Professor Santore addresses the last two centuries of Naples decline as an urban center and a political unit. His text therefore rests on political/diplomatic narrative and social and economic history to reconstruct the citys "tragic centuries." The story is therefore not triumphalist in any sense. Here the reader will not find the staples of recent Neapolitan myth and memory. The "post-modern" city of song and dance, of film and painting, of poetic and philosophical expression, peopled with world-wise survivors though discussed is not the authors intent. Instead a sobering image emerges that offers a faithful interpretation of the historical record and of more recent events and that poses to the reader a challenge both to ponder and to further explore.
From the Author
Few cities have been written about with more passion than modern Naples. Beginning in the Romantic period and continuing into the contemporary era, a long list of famous poets, writers, journalists, and intellectuals have provided vivid descriptions of its people and culture, and depicted its triumphs and tragedies in the most eloquent terms. This book represents an attempt to encapsulate that testimony in the form of a continuous historical narrative. Overall, it contains 229 documents. Many appear for the first time in English and have been selected with both the general reader and the scholar in mind. Among them are travellers accounts and private letters, newspaper articles and official declarations, ambassadorial reports and governmental legislation, and excerpts from the numerous memoirs, diaries, and statistical surveys of the time.
In presenting these documents, I make no claims to be comprehensive. Indeed, given the abundance of materials available, any such suggestion would be disingenuous at best. Instead, I have tried to select those documents which, in my opinion, are most expressive of the forces that have shaped the last two hundred years of Neapolitan history, and given disproportional weight to those political and economic factors that have had the greatest impact on modern Neapolitan life.
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Top customer reviews
Perhaps my favorite book in the class I took on 19th century Italy. It presents information in a extremely clear manner without distancing the reader from the sources available.
The focus of the book is as would seem obvious, Naples, but there is a good amount of information on all Southern Italy and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies up until unification. It presents information with regards to the 'southern problem' well and explains the complex relations of the north and the south not only after unification but in the decades preceding it.
It is a highly readable narrative which would serve great for academics as well as people looking for a more casual read. Good collection of sources and well researched, this book can be trusted as a solid history.