From Caesar to the Mafia: Persons, Places and Problems in Italian Life / Edition 2

From Caesar to the Mafia: Persons, Places and Problems in Italian Life / Edition 2

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Taylor & Francis
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From Caesar to the Mafia: Persons, Places and Problems in Italian Life / Edition 2

Described by Melvin Lasky as "one of the great journalists of our time," Luigi Barzini was also one of the great cultural historians of modern Italy. From Caesar to the Mafia brings together his finest essays, roughly half of them never before published in the English language. Whether discussing the deep Italian roots of Julius Caesar, Casanova's contribution to the art of living big, or Camillo Cavour's contribution to a democratic as well as integrated nation, Barzini makes Italian culture come alive. Whether he is dealing with heroes or villains, he never loses sight of how Italy became a distinct nation.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765809087
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 11/30/2001
Edition description: 2ND
Pages: 373
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.84(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Editionxi
1Julius Caesar3
3Cavour, or the Foreigner as National Hero38
4Curzio Malaparte48
5The Sicilians61
6The Aristocrats81
7Gramsci, a Founding Father115
8A Glimpse of Mussolini139
9The Italian Mistress144
IIPlaces and Happenings
10On the Isle of Capri157
11The Death of a Bandit172
12A King's Last Night177
13Milan, a Native's Return188
14The Quest for Lampedusa201
15A Personal Affair222
16A Fine Italian Hand239
17Grand Hotel Montecitorio252
18It's Different in the South259
19The Communists, and the Locomotive of History273
20The Anatomy of Expertise297
21The Mafia322
22A House on the Via Cassia336
23Aristocratic Birth and Revolutionary Death (Feltrinelli)345

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