That Fine Italian Hand: A Wry Close-Up of a Resourceful People
  • That Fine Italian Hand: A Wry Close-Up of a Resourceful People
  • That Fine Italian Hand: A Wry Close-Up of a Resourceful People

That Fine Italian Hand: A Wry Close-Up of a Resourceful People

by Paul Hofmann
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

No other people over so long a history have shown a greater knack for survival than the Italians. In this wryly affectionate book, Hofmann reveals his adopted countrymen in all their glorious paradoxes, capturing their national essence as no other book has done since Luigi Barzini's classic, The Italians. The national art of "arrangement"-- dodging taxes,

…  See more details below

Overview

No other people over so long a history have shown a greater knack for survival than the Italians. In this wryly affectionate book, Hofmann reveals his adopted countrymen in all their glorious paradoxes, capturing their national essence as no other book has done since Luigi Barzini's classic, The Italians. The national art of "arrangement"-- dodging taxes, double-dealing, working only as hard as one must-- is counteracted by Italian inventive genius, gusto for life, fierce individuality, deep family bonds (as well as animosities), and a marvelously hedonistic sophistication.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An entertaining and shrewd appraisal of an ancient, ever-changing nation.” —Publishers Weekly

“Nourishing antipasti before the feast of an Italian visit.” —San Diego Union

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Continuing his love affair with Italy, Hofmann ( Cento Citta ), former New York Times Rome bureau chief, offers an entertaining and shrewd appraisal of an ancient, ever-changing nation. Although indulgent of the Italian scene, he nonetheless recognizes the blemishes that mar its surface and the violent contrasts that perplex many visitors, especially the cultural differences and tensions between the progressive North and the still semi-feudal, Mafia-plagued South. Strikes, erratic museum and public service schedules and civic red tape and delays, along with ugly, noisy urban sprawls surrounding traffic-jammed ancient cities, he grants, are exasperating. However, the author counters, these astute, individualistic, resilient people who value life moment by moment and cultivate its pleasures with a rare tenacity survive by resourcefulness (`` arrangiarsi '') and by maintaining strong family bonds (despite much-publicized sex scandals). (June)
Library Journal
Three insightful and engaging books about the Italian people include Barbara Grizzuti Harrison's Italian Days (Atlantic Monthly. 1998. ISBN 0-87113-727-5. pap. $15), whose insights are still as fresh and relevant today as they were when the book was first published in 1989; Luigi Barzini's 1964 The Italians (Touchstone: S. & S. 1996. ISBN 0-684-82500-7. pap. $14), which still presents a fascinating perspective on his fellow countrymen; and That Fine Italian Hand (Owl: Holt. 1991. ISBN 0-8050-1729-1. pap. $15) by Paul Hofmann, former New York Times Rome bureau chief, who is especially good on contrasting the cultures and politics of the north and south. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805017298
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/1991
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
1,437,758
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.57(d)

Meet the Author


Paul Hofmann was for many years chief of the New York Times bureau in Rome. A resident of Italy on and off since World War II, he now lives in Rome, writing articles and books. The most recent, Cento Città, a guide to Italy's smaller cities and towns, is now an Owl paperback (Holt, 1990).

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >