- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Caesar to the Mafia is not only about people, but also focuses on places and problems. When Barzini discusses the Sicilians, the Isle of Capri, or his birthplace of Milan, he has the distinct capacity to capture what is universal as well as what is intimate in each place. An innate sense of psychological profiling enriches these intimate sketches. Because Barzini had such a keen appreciation of Anglo-American culture he emphasizes people and places known to travelers to Italy, as well as readers of Italian literature. What makes the volume so special is Barzini's careful maneuvering between sentimentality on one side and brutality on the other.
Italy is not only a state of mind for Barzini, but also a political culture. By discussing the exaggerated mannerism of Mussolini or the unusual capacity of Gramsci to grasp the principles of revolution making in an underdeveloped country, he helps us better understand the operations of fascism and communism as system and ideology. The final essays give voice to Barzini's ability as a political analyst. His examination of the Italian Communist Party's multiple personality disorders, the Christian Democrats as working compromise, the Mafia as a system of power designed not so much to kill as to intimidate and to rule in the absence of popular resistance, tells the reader about modern, postwar Italy. This is a volume not just to be read, but to be savored.
Luigi Barzini (1908-1984) was the author of an incomparable set of books on the United States, Europe, and Italy, including Americans are Alone in the World, and The Italians. He served as a foreign correspondent for Corriere della Sera, and later as a liberal deputy in the Italian Parliament. He was described by the late Cyril Connolly as "a philosopher and master of the English language."
Michael Ledeen is a distinguished senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and himself a learned scholar in Italian politics and letters. He has written widely on Machiavelli, D'Annunzio, and Italian fascism.
|Introduction to the Transaction Edition|
|3||Cavour, or the Foreigner as National Hero||38|
|7||Gramsci, a Founding Father||115|
|8||A Glimpse of Mussolini||139|
|9||The Italian Mistress||144|
|II||Places and Happenings|
|10||On the Isle of Capri||157|
|11||The Death of a Bandit||172|
|12||A King's Last Night||177|
|13||Milan, a Native's Return||188|
|14||The Quest for Lampedusa||201|
|15||A Personal Affair||222|
|16||A Fine Italian Hand||239|
|17||Grand Hotel Montecitorio||252|
|18||It's Different in the South||259|
|19||The Communists, and the Locomotive of History||273|
|20||The Anatomy of Expertise||297|
|22||A House on the Via Cassia||336|
|23||Aristocratic Birth and Revolutionary Death (Feltrinelli)||345|