Anita Garibaldi: A Biography

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Overview

Illiterate and poor, the daughter of a herdsman in 19th century Brazil, Anita Ribeiro was lifted from a life of obscurity to one that is the stuff of romance and adventure. When she and a young Italian exile by the name of Captain Garibaldi met in 1839, they joined in the cause of founding a Brazilian republic. Later they went on to lead the defense of Montevideo from an Argentine siege—just one episode among many in their idealistic, nationalistic crusade in a time of immense revolutionary upheaval. It was Anita...

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Overview

Illiterate and poor, the daughter of a herdsman in 19th century Brazil, Anita Ribeiro was lifted from a life of obscurity to one that is the stuff of romance and adventure. When she and a young Italian exile by the name of Captain Garibaldi met in 1839, they joined in the cause of founding a Brazilian republic. Later they went on to lead the defense of Montevideo from an Argentine siege—just one episode among many in their idealistic, nationalistic crusade in a time of immense revolutionary upheaval. It was Anita who taught Garibaldi the guerrilla ways of the gauchos, and they lived as man and wife through a series of adventure and wars. Returning to Italy in 1848 to fight for a united republican Italy, as revolution swept throughout Europe, Anita and Garibaldi were tragically separated by her untimely death the following year. Garibaldi went on to ultimate fame as the father of modern Italy—while Anita's story drifted into the mists of legend. This book, the first full biography of the remarkable life of Anita Garibaldi, tells the true story of a fascinating and important woman.

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Editorial Reviews

Italian American Review
In every sense, Anita Garibaldi's story is impossibly romantic, revolving around a boundless love, and crossing the boundaries of nation and continent. It is one of the truly global epics of the modern age, done English-language justice for the first time in Valerio's new biography. A conventional biographer would likely fail to revive Anita, to bring her to literary life. Illiterate, she left a few dicated notes and very little other written testimony to her experince. Historically speaking, she is a shadow that Valerio pursues into the teeth of time. But thanks to years of research, his ability to interpolate characters' thoughts and feelings, Valerio presents an American audience with a fully realized Anita.
Fra Noi
In Valerio's hands, the little we know of Anita through earlier accounts becomes enlarged and takes on a life of its own. Beyond the boring facts of history we gain the spirit that made those facts important enough for us to remember over a century after her death. "Anita Garibaldi: a Biography" is a mosaic portrait composed from dozens of sources and different voices, united through story as bona fide history. While what we have in writing about Anita Garibaldi has been known for some time, Valerio provides new insights to this historical information not by coming up with new information, or by revising earlier accounts, but by applying the novelist's tricks to the biographer's trade. This synthesis brings us new perspectives on a life that is normally overshadowed by her husband.

Just as Valerio varies sentence length and sounds to create various paces, he also varies the length of the chapters so that they become more like scenes in a dramatic film and less like sections of a predictable documentary. Most of the writing is so good you'll almost forget it has an academic base until you consult the endnotes, bibliography, or index, all accurate and helpful.
Chicago newspaper

Booknews
Giuseppe Garibaldi, the swashbuckling hero of Italian unification, learned guerilla techniques in Latin America, where he met and fell in love with his wife Anita in 1839, when she was 18. This work tells their passionate and tragic story of political ideals and love set against the background of the struggle for Italian independence. It evokes a woman who defied the customs of her time and her country. Valerio is author of four books and numerous articles. He has taught at New York University and the City University of New York. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275969387
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/30/2000
  • Series: Italian and Italian American Studies
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Valerio is the author of four books and numerous articles.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Brazil (1821-1841)

A Childhood

A Girl without a Father

The Gift of Land

Revolution in Exchange

Night Moves

Occupation amid Cheers

Saudade, or the Sadness of Parting

From Tempest to Calm

Courtship Under Fire

The Agony of Happiness

Combat at Sea

Defend and Retreat

Garibaldi's Treasure

Shadows of Memory

Guerrilla Chief

Menotti, Child of Victory

Disastrous Retreat

Uruguay (1841-1848)

Montevideo, Big City

An Honest Woman

Battles with Brown

Under Siege

The Red Shirt

Jealousy

The Virtue of Darkness

A World of Gracious Things

The Glory of Salto

Fame

Passage to Italy

Italy (1848-1849)

A Woman of Leisure

Speranza, or Hope

The Lago Maggiore Campaign

Mr. & Mrs. Risso

Reunion in Rieti

Rome

House of the Four Winds

End of a Dream

The Retreat (July-August 1849)

The Hunted

Decline

San Marino

Cesenatico

Anita's Death

Epilogue

Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2002

    A. Weaver, Simmons College

    In Valerio's hand, Anita Garibaldi emerges as the courageous but vulnerable woman from southern Brazil, whose singular and precious spirit was caught in the times. 'Anita Garibaldi' is a romance discovered in history's embrace. Valerio creates the Brazilian ethos in its emerald presence as the brilliant nerve in Garibaldi's brave but short time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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