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Italian Guillotine / Edition 352

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Overview

Since 1992, Italy has been wracked by what has been dubbed a 'revolution,' the destruction of the First Republic, and the launching of the Second Republic. The five parties that once governed Italy are gone; the leaders who guided Italy for forty years stand accused of corruption, many languishing in jail or exile; and numbers of politicians and businessmen committed suicide. All these dramatic events stemmed from the exposure of massive political corruption by a small group of Milan magistrates who became national heroes. Yet this controversial book argues instead that the actions of this group amounted to a coup d'etat, conceived by radicalized magistrates in the 1970s and carried out in the 1990s by these same magistrates for explicit political ends that were ultimately achieved in 1996. The authors examine the sources of the magistrates' political support and protection, the intended beneficiaries of their campaign, and their skillful management of the media. Along the way, they trace the magistrates' violation of the norms of due process and defendants' rights and the preferential treatment given to political and business allies. Indeed, the 'revolution' is becoming suspect to more and more Italians, and now this provocative study will bring the story to readers outside Italy.

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Editorial Reviews

The Silone Foundation
The authors' great merit likes in the objectivity and meticulous documentation of their examination of the dramatic political and judicial facts that led to the destruction of a part of the Italian political class. ...The Italian Guillotine represents an important point of reference for public opinion, for politicians, and for historians.
Political Studies Review
. . . a novice to Italian politics will learn some useful things from this book.
— Vittorio Bufacchi, University College Dublin
Choice
[the authors present a] wealth of journalistic detail . . .
— P. Vannicelli, University of Massachusetts at Boston
Political Science Quarterly - Joseph LaPalombara
Few readers of these riveting pages will fail to understand how deep the threat to democracy is, now represented by the Clean Hands investigators themselves, not by corruption.
Voltaire - Spencer M. Di Scala
In developing their thesis, Burnett and Mantovani have been very clear, almost mathematical. They explain it, they stick to the facts and the unrolling of the story, and they offer proof, citing the words and actions of the protagonists themselves.
Filippo Sabetti
At the end of the story, one is left with a fresh, plausible, and disturbing interpretation of the profound and controversial transformations that have taken place in the administration of justice and their revolutionary effects on Italian politics and society. The narrative is absorbing and the argument unrelenting; the authors challenge, or correct, prevailing interpretations well beyond what has been done by other writers on the subject to date.
Il Mesaggero - Marcello Pera
The best, in fact, that has yet been written on the subject in terms of documentation and explanations.
Walter Laqueur
Burnett and Mantovani have written an excellent history of Italy during the past fifteen years, the best available in English. It is the story of the downfall of the First Republic as the result of 'Operation Clean Hands,' a story virtually ignored outside Italy and often misinterpreted. While the extent of corruption pervading the old system is never doubted, the authors show that the Milan-based judges had a political agenda of their own and that their procedures were often unlawful.
September/October 1998 Foreign Affairs
The most interesting part is the analysis of the mechanisms and causes of corruption. They offer an economic explanation, the fragility of which explains the system's unraveling...
Political Studies Review - Vittorio Bufacchi
. . . a novice to Italian politics will learn some useful things from this book.
CHOICE - P. Vannicelli
[the authors present a] wealth of journalistic detail . . .
Political Studies Review - Vittorio Bufacci
. . . a novice to Italian politics will learn some useful things from this book.
Political Science Quarterly
Few readers of these riveting pages will fail to understand how deep the threat to democracy is, now represented by the Clean Hands investigators themselves, not by corruption.
— Joseph LaPalombara
Voltaire
In developing their thesis, Burnett and Mantovani have been very clear, almost mathematical. They explain it, they stick to the facts and the unrolling of the story, and they offer proof, citing the words and actions of the protagonists themselves.
— Spencer M. Di Scala
Il Mesaggero
The best, in fact, that has yet been written on the subject in terms of documentation and explanations.
— Marcello Pera
Foreign Service Journal
The authors argue a controversial point of view persuasively....[They] painstakingly document their case against the magistrates....[The book's] strength is the insights it provides into the motives and style of actors in contemporary Italian politics and media.
Joseph LaPalombara
Few readers of these riveting pages will fail to understand how deep the threat to democracy is, now represented by the Clean Hands investigators themselves, not by corruption.
Spencer M. Di Scala
In developing their thesis, Burnett and Mantovani have been very clear, almost mathematical. They explain it, they stick to the facts and the unrolling of the story, and they offer proof, citing the words and actions of the protagonists themselves.
Booknews
US diplomat Burnett and journalist Mantovani analyze Italy's great political change in the 1990s, explaining that their account is published in the US because in Italy no version of Operation Clean Hands is allowed but the official government one. They find that the sudden and severe campaign against corruption in 1992 constituted a coup that toppled the First Republic and led to the Communist Party winning national elections and taking power four years later. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847688777
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 5/28/1998
  • Edition number: 352
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanton H. Burnett is senior advisor of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C. Luca Mantovani is chief of the Forza Italia press office for the Chamber of Deputies.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 What Happened to Italy? The Thesis Chapter 2 The Arena Chapter 3 The Politics of the Magistracy Chapter 4 The Lessons of History Chapter 5 The Decline and Fall of Due Process Chapter 6 The Politics of Justice Chapter 7 The Launching of the Coup Chapter 8 The Scandal Touches the Political Summit Chapter 9 The Establishment Cracks Chapter 10 Setbacks for the Government and the Parties Chapter 11 Differences in Treatment: Cagliari and Romiti Chapter 12 Parliament Confronts the Pool Chapter 13 The Red Togas and Their Thought Chapter 14 Death by Clean Hands Chapter 15 The Cusani Trial Chapter 16 Berlusconi Chapter 17 The Biondi Decree-Law Chapter 18 The Pool Attacks the Prime Minister Chapter 19 The Resignation of Di Pietro Chapter 20 Intermission: The Magistrate as Elliot Ness Chapter 21 Interregnum: Between Counter-Revolution and Endgame Chapter 22 The Final Act? Conclusion Chapter 23 Chronology Chapter 24 Cast of Characters

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