e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Basic I - Italy History (Books)

  1-20 of 99 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. The Oxford Illustrated History
2. A Concise History of Italy (Cambridge
3. A History of Contemporary Italy:
4. Italy: An Illustrated History
5. Pomodoro!: A History of the Tomato
6. Between Salt Water and Holy Water:
7. A Traveller's History of Italy
8. The Force of Destiny: A History
9. Nature and History in Modern Italy
10. The Complete Idiot's Guide to
11. The history of Italy
12. Modern Italy: A Political History
13. History of Modern Italy: Documents,
14. Rome and Italy: Books VI-X of
15. Italy: History and Landscape
16. Architecture in Italy, 1400-1500
17. A History of Italy (Palgrave Essential
18. Economic History of Modern Italy
19. Architecture in Italy, 1500-1600
20. A History of Venice

1. The Oxford Illustrated History of Italy (Oxford Illustrated Histories)
Paperback: 424 Pages (2001-05-24)
list price: US$31.95 -- used & new: US$19.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0192854445
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The name Italy evokes history and splendor. Toga-clad Romans, sweeping vistas of vineyards and olive groves, the majesty of a Papal mass, Dante's Comedia, and Leonardo's haunting Mona Lisa. Few nations can boast as rich an artistic and cultural legacy, and yet, the concept of Italy as a single, autonomous political entity is a young one, dating back a mere 125 years. Fragmented both by North-South rivalries and foreign invasions, the peninsula struggled for nearly 1500 years after the fall of the Roman Empire to become a cohesive whole.
Now, in The Oxford History of Italy, two millennia of political turmoil and artistic glory are brought to life. Written by twelve leading scholars, this attractively designed volume paints a vivid portrait that ranges from the first hints of a nascent Italian consciousness (which often clashed with Rome's authority in the first century), to the Fascist struggles of the twentieth. We discover how the sack of Rome in 410 by the Goths created an enormous power vacuum, filled only by the proliferation of city-states and the ascendancy of the Pope. The book examines the artistic explosion of the Renaissance, illuminates the legacy of the Medici family and the great Italian masters--Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael--and visits ports such as Venice and commercial centers such as Milan, which prospered in the aftershock of the Black Death and the Great Schism. And the contributors explore the succeeding economic and political troubles of the following centuries: sharp depressions, inter-state wars, foreign invasions first by Spain, then by Austria and France. Not until the 19th century upsurge in nationalist fervor, fueled by Garibaldi's victorious war against the Habsburg overlords, was Italy's future as an independent nation guaranteed. Yet even today, Italy's political atmosphere is stormy: from the lingering Fascist sentiments, to the growing Northern separatist movement, to the rampant corruption that rocks the government and topples Prime Ministers with shocking regularity, Italy remains in a state of flux.
Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of pictures--including 24 pages of color plates--this attractive volume is an essential history for anyone interested in Italy. From the grandeur of Rome to the contentious politics of modern times, The Oxford History of Italy provides an authoritative and unforgettable journey through this remarkable land.Amazon.com Review
George Holmes's well-written, heavily illustrated narrativeoffers a broad view of Italian history from the early days of theRoman empire to the beginning of the 1990s. Italy as we know it,Holmes notes, is a fairly modern invention, the product of the19th-century Risorgimiento and the unification of the nation for thefirst time in centuries. He explores the reasons for this, noting thetendency of Italian regions to turn inward and form small allianceswith immediate neighbors, a tendency that expresses itself today inthe northern Italian movement for secession. Holmes also considers therole of the arts in the formation of Italian identity and providessnapshots of major points in the nation's history. It all makes for auseful one-volume reference. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Useful overview of Italian history
Italy has one of the longest and most completely documented histories of any modern industrialized nation, so to give a history of Italy from the Roman Empire to the present is extremely ambitious.To put it all into one comprehensive volume would have been virtually impossible.So given that limitation, I would say that this history is pretty good.It is constructed as twelve essays, each by a historian with a different specialty.The chapters dealing with periods that I had some prior knowledge of were easier to read than those of which I was completely ignorant were.But I did manage to get a good overview of Italian history, which was my reason for reading the book.The book has a couple of aspects that make it particularly recommendable.The first is that the chapters are refreshingly free of a political agenda, even the last chapter dealing with the political life of Italy in the 20th Century.The second strength is that the illustrations are very well chosen and help to illuminate the text.The captions are succinct and well written.There is also an excellent section at the end with suggestions for further reading and a rather detailed chronology.I certainly wouldn't call the book perfect, but in general I think it achieves what it set out to do.Four stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Italian History
This book is for those who are interested in the history of Italy. It does not read like a novel, but is made of information of the vast history that has made Italy. If you like history, you will like this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars blah...
This book was terrible. More time is spent giving you an onslaught of facts on the history of Italian art than on anything else. The cultural portion barely acknowledges literary and philosophical greats but doesn't hesitate to regurgitate information several times on painters, architects, and musicians. Despite this, upon completion your left wondering exactly what you just read due to the rambled facts given.
On the political side of things, your left with a vague picture. If not for prior knowledge of Italian history and living there for two years, i would have finished the book learning completely nothing. This is another example of one of those books written by scholars for scholars but failed to be advertised as such. These scholars do seem to know there facts, however the fact is they have no skill at writing, any read will find it an unending struggle to keep their mind from wandering, their eyes from tearing, or the onset of sleep from coming. For the length of time it takes to read these dry monotonous 347 pages, you could have read several books on the subject. Oxford, George Holmes... i think you need to reimburse me not only for the money i spent on this garbage but for the many hours wasted drudging through it that i will never get back.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pathetic Oxford. Very Pathetic
This is the worst attempt by the people at Oxford.I am a big fan of all of their books and series but this one needs to be redone. The writing by all of the authors is terrible and no detail is given. While it is tough to cover the whole history of the country in one book this one fails miserably. Not only do you not even get a sense of how Italy developed you is left wondering what the point was. It does not leave you wanting more information in a good way but just disappoints.Stay away!

4-0 out of 5 stars the "volk" at oxford have "done it" again...although this time less vigorously
The first essay begins with an obscure reference to a former pupil who, "in those few fleeting moments of ecstacy during my office hours instilled in me enormous feelings of guilt because so much blood rushed from my neo-cortex in her presence that I knew then I would change my academic specialty from Etruscan Art in Etruria to Etruria and its Etruscan Art" and then concludes with, of all things, a clarion call for Anschluss with Canada.Strange.The essay on Mussolini was brilliant, hampered only by the author's insistent mis-spelling of Mussolini's first name ("Young 'Bonero' earned early for himself a reputation as a pugnacious little turd, although he was an above average speller!")

A weird book from the weirdos at Oxford.They've done it again! I only wish I could do it again.Just once. ... Read more

2. A Concise History of Italy (Cambridge Concise Histories)
by Christopher Duggan
Paperback: 338 Pages (1994-05-27)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$19.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521408482
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Since its creation in 1861, Italy has struggled to develop an effective political system and a secure sense of national identity. This concise history covers the period from the fall of the Roman Empire in the west to the present day, but focuses on the difficulties Italy has faced in forging a nation state during the past two centuries. The opening chapters consider the geographical and cultural obstacles to unity, and survey the long centuries of political fragmentation in the peninsula since the sixth century. It was this legacy of fragmentation that Italy's new rulers had to strive to overcome when the country became united, more by accident than design, in 1859-61. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars persuasive deconstruction of nationalist mythology
This is a very brief overview, giving an excellent introduction to the non-specialist whilst simultaneously providing food for thought to those already in the know. And it is a model of good, stimulating writing. The first two chapters alone are worth the cover price. The only disadvantage is that the coverage of the early and central Middle Ages is way too thin, even for such a short book. But the emphasis upon how recent is the construction of Italian 'nationhood' is excellently argued, and put me in mind of Graham Robb's recent "The Discovery of France". Great stuff!

1-0 out of 5 stars Boring
I found this book to be unreadable. It's very dense and hard to read and I read a lot of books about history. It may be factually accurate and well researched (although I don't know because I couldn't get past the first chapter) but it's not enjoyable in the least.

4-0 out of 5 stars Concise is a great word...
To describe this book! The history begins in 1860 when Italy actually became an organized country. If you are looking for info prior to that, buy a book on Greek and Roman history. Very readable, lots of info, great if you just want to get your feet wet with Italian history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great insight into Italy's past - and present
This book offers the best introduction available to the history of Italy.In less than three hundred pages, Duggan offers a concise summary of the past 1600 years of the peninsula.His focus in this book is on the multitude of efforts during this period to build an Italian nation out of the rubble of the Roman empire, a goal only achieved in 1860 and then in an imperfect, fragmentary form, with subsequent generations left with the more difficult task of creating a national identity.Duggan recounts this with insight and the result is essential reading, not only for students of Italy's past but for those seeking insight into the nation's troubled present as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Renaissance to the Republic
This book is great for the student or traveller wishing to get a quick overview of Italy, it's politics, and it's people.I read this on a plane from NYC to Rome and finished it.It is very easy to read.It really doesn't leave anything out either; the general history of Italy is covered.Also, the bibliography will point you in the right direction for additional reading. ... Read more

3. A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics, 1943-1988
by Paul Ginsborg
Paperback: 592 Pages (2003-01-01)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$12.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1403961530
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
From a war-torn and poverty-stricken country, regional and predominantly agrarian, to the success story of recent years, Italy has witnessed the most profound transformation--economic, social and demographic--in its entire history. Yet the other recurrent theme of the period has been the overwhelming need for political reform--and the repeated failure to achieve it. Professor Ginsborg's authoritative work--the first to combine social and political perspectives--is concerned with both the tremendous achievements of contemporary Italy and "the continuities of its history that have not been easily set aside."
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars ginsborg contemporary italy
As good as the critics say-- well-written, based on very extensive Italian sources.But written from a far-Left perspective.Ginsborg wants to see Italian capitalism destroyed but he doesn't tell us how this is to occur -- presumably not through the ballot box-- and he doesn't tell us what will be put in its place. This permits him to criticize everything and be held responsible for nothing.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fundamental Reading...
... for anyone interested in an extremely rich and contradictory social environment such as Italy after WWII. It is a complete, clear, and deeply intriguing work that I strongly recommend.

5-0 out of 5 stars An in-depth survey of Italy's social and political dynamics
A History Of Contemporary Italy: Society And Politics 1943-1988 by Paul Ginsborg (Professor of Contemporary European History, University of Florence) is an in-depth survey of Italy's social and political dynamics that saw it evolve from a war-torn and poverty-stricken, primarily agrarian country, into a prosperous, politically stable member of the European community. Here ably and accessibly recounted are the events, personalities, and reforms that were critical to eventually overcoming endemic and persistence corruptions, shortages, and obstacles necessary before the tremendous achievements of contemporary Italy and its eventual entrance into the European Union. A History Of Contemporary Italy: Society And Politics 1943-1988 is a scholarly, meticulous history and a welcome and recommended contribution to European International Studies and 20th Century Italian History reference collections and reading lists. ... Read more

4. Italy: An Illustrated History (Illustrated Histories)
by Joseph F. Privitera
Hardcover: 142 Pages (2000-10-01)
list price: US$7.48 -- used & new: US$7.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0781808197
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Written in an accessible style this illustrated history covers the full panoply of Italy's history -- from Roman days to the present time. ... Read more

5. Pomodoro!: A History of the Tomato in Italy (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)
by David Gentilcore
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2010-05-25)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$14.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 023115206X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
More than just the beloved base ingredient of so many of our favorite dishes, the tomato has generated both profound riches and controversy in its farming, processing, exchange, and consumption. It is a crop infused with national pride and passion for those who grow it, and a symbol of Old World nostalgia for those who claim its history and legacy. Over time, the tomato has embodied a range of values and meanings. From its domestication in Central America, it has traveled back and forth across the Atlantic, powering a story of aspiration and growth, agriculture and industry, class and identity, and global transition. In this entertaining and organic history, David Gentilcore recounts the surprising rise of the tomato from its New World origin to its Old World significance. From its inauspicious introduction into Renaissance Europe, the tomato came to dominate Italian cuisine and the food industry over the course of three centuries. Gentilcore explores why elite and peasant cultures took so long to assimilate the tomato into Italian cooking and how it eventually triumphed.He traces the tomato's appearance in medical and agricultural treatises, travel narratives, family recipe books, kitchen accounts, and Italian art, literature, and film. He focuses on Italy's fascination with the tomato, painting a larger portrait of changing trends and habits that began with botanical practices in the sixteenth century and attitudes toward vegetables in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and concluded with the emergence of factory production in the nineteenth. Gentilcore continues with the transformation of the tomato into a national symbol during the years of Italian immigration and Fascism and examines the planetary success of the "Italian" tomato today, detailing its production, representation, and consumption. ... Read more

6. Between Salt Water and Holy Water: A History of Southern Italy
by Tommaso Astarita
Paperback: 352 Pages (2006-07-17)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$15.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393328678
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"Lucid, evocative and richlydetailed."—Jay Parini, author ofThe Apprentice LoverBoth the Romans and the Greeks were attracted to the dramatically beautiful coasts and fertile plains of the region later known as "The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies." In fact, all myriad influences that shaped modern civilization in the Mediterranean come together in Southern Italy and Sicily. The world's first secular university was founded in Naples. Many of the elements of Italian culture as we now know it in the rest of the world—from comic opera to pizza—were born in the South. Art and music flourished there, as did progressive ideas about education, tolerance, and civic administration.

Native Neopolitan and distinguished scholar Tommaso Astarita gives us a history both erudite and full of personality—from the freethinking, cosmopolitan King Frederick who conferred with Jewish and Muslim philosophers (and dared to meet with the Sultan) to the fisherman Masaniello who inspired artists and revolutionaries across Europe. In the medieval South, Jews, Muslims, and Greek and Latin Christians could practice their religions, speak their languages, and live in mostly peaceful cohabitation. From the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, Naples was on par with Paris, one of the largest and most cultured cities in Europe. During the Enlightenment, southern Italy captured the European imagination, and many people traveled far and wide to enjoy southern Italy's ancient ruins, beautiful landscapes, sweet music, and magnificent art, marveling at the lively temperament of the southern population. The drama and beauty of the region inspired visitors to claim that one had to "see Naples, and then die." Yet negative images of the Italian South's poverty, violence, superstition and nearness to Africa long fueled stereotypes of what was and was not acceptably "European." Goethe noted that he had gladly studied in Rome, but in Naples he wanted "only to live," for "Naples is a Paradise: everyone lives in a state of intoxicated self-forgetfulness, myself included.

From the Normans and Angevins through Spanish and Bourbon rule to the unification of Italy in 1860 and the subsequent emigration of vast numbers of Southern Italians, Between Salt Water and Holy Water captures the rich, dynamic past of a vibrant land. . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive History of Southern Italy
Tommaso Astarita's work on Southern Italian history was a joy to encounter.Astarita untangles the web of influences on the history of this region in a way I had not anticipated, and it was enlightening page by page.I believe it will prove to be the definitive narrative of this region's history.Nobody has come near Astarita's expertise in bringing it all together.

5-0 out of 5 stars Colorful details highlight the broad sweep of history.
I am so glad this book and author were recommended to me by an Italian acquaintance. The endnotes provide an avenue for further research, and reveal the careful scholarship of Tomasso Astarita. He weaves the stories of specific events in an anecdotal style throughout the information about the broader history, and I found it a fascinating book. No, it is not pop history, but for a scholarly book it was not a difficult read. I'm very glad to have it in my library!

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully conceptualized, interestingly written
I have been so delighted with this book I have nearly worn out the cover reading and rereading it. Until this book and another by a different author came out during the same year (2005) there was practically nothing meaningful about the history and development of Southern Italy available in English. This author has integrated the history, culture,art, music, literature of the region and sprinkled it with charming details and insights. This is not a travel guide or a book to be picked up lightly, but anyone interested in learning about that particular region of Italy will be well-served by this text. I have given it as a gift and consider it among my favorites.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lucid and graceful history
Focusing on Naples and Sicily, this evocatively named short historyprovides a lucid and graceful study of complicated history. There were lovely nuggets of fact, too, the relationship of the Bronte family to a town in Southern Italy and Lord Nelson's ties to both; a bit about Southern Italian literature and letters and Neapolitan song.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Respectable Scholary Work
Let's not confuse this work with pop histories or superficial glosses of history. This beautifully designed scholarly book is a highly detailed telling of what southern Italy has endured in the past 2000+ years. The story is quite complex. Lots of peoples have wanted to conquer this territory, for its grain, for its beauty, for its shores, and for its resources. Arabs, Spaniards, Germans, Greeks, and Normans have all left their footprints in the rich soil, and if one visits, one can still witness traces of this varied history there. To unravel all the kings, queens, barons, dukes, religious influences, cultural influences, and economic upturns and downturns is an undertaking requiring the reader's patience and quiet contemplation. The author, Tommaso Astarita, has done an excellent job in giving us the details. After reading this book, one can never quite think of this beautiful region in the same way again. Rather, as any good history does, this workchanges our perception of the landscape, and we now remember and visualize its long struggles, the blood that's been shed, the plagues that have come and gone, and the hard endurance of its people. If you are not prepared to immerse yourself in scholarly details and complex writing, this book isn't for you. But if you want to truly understand southern Italy's history, you've come to the right place. ... Read more

7. A Traveller's History of Italy (Traveller's Histories Series)
by Valerio Lintner
Paperback: 291 Pages (2008-12)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1566565219
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A Traveller's History of Italy analyzes the development of the Italian people from pre-historic times right through to the imaginative, resourceful and fiercely independent Italians we know today.

All the major periods of Italian history are dealt with, including the Etruscans, the Romans, the communes and the city states which spawned the glories of the Renaissance, right up to modern times.

For travellers on the ground or students at their desks, this handy paperback will prove invaluable. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Misnomer - nothing here for the "traveller"
If this book had been called "A brief history of Italy", I'd have given it four stars.As a short but reasonably thorough overview of Italian history, it does a pretty good job.

But as for being a "traveller's history"...it fails.I was planning a trip to Italy and wanted a book that would tell me the history behind the things I was seeing ("And on your left, you see a statue from the early 16th century...").As such, this book is useless.Its historical content is in no way geared towards the traveler.

If you want a quick read on Italian history, great.But don't take it on your travels.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good background for those who know nothing about Italian His
It's a lot of information to absorb, but overview of the development ofmodern Italy is interesting.As someone who knew little of the history ofItaly, the book enriched my travel experiences in Italy.The timelines area good reference.There could be better maps for those of us who areunfamiliar with Italian geography.Unfortunately, the book is poorly boundand my copy fell apart almost immediately. ... Read more

8. The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796
by Christopher Duggan
Hardcover: 688 Pages (2008-04-28)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$16.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618353674
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

A sweeping, first-of-its-kind history of the creation of modern Italy

The birth of modern Italy was a messy affair. Inspired by a small group of writers, intellectuals, and politicians, Italy struggled in the first half of the nineteenth century to unite all Italians under one rule, throwing aside a multitude of corrupt old rulers and foreign occupiers. In the midst of this turmoil, Italian politicians felt compelled by a “force of destiny” hideously at odds with Italian reality. After great sacrifice Italy was finally unified -- and turned out to be just as fragile, impoverished, and backward as it had been before. The resentments this created led to Italy’s destructive role in World War I, the subsequent rise of Mussolini and authoritarianism in the 1920s and ’30s, and the nation's humiliating defeat in World War II. This haunting legacy deeply informs the Italy of today.

Christopher Duggan skillfully interweaves Italy's art, music, literature, and architecture with its economic and social realities and political development to tell this extraordinary European story. The first English-language book to cover the full scope of modern Italy, from its origins more than two hundred years ago to the present, The Force of Destiny is a brilliant and comprehensive study -- and a frightening example of how easily nation-building and nationalism can slip toward authoritarianism and war.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Geographical Expression
An insightful record of Italy's modern history and search for identity. Although the Italian peninsula dominated politics and culture during the Roman Empire and Etruscan periods and experienced a resurgence of art and intellectualism during the Renaissance, the entire region was subject to foreign invasion and subjugation. Italy as a concept, let alone a nation, did not exist until 1861, with the Risorgimento. Previously, the peninsula was more of a geographical expression, composed of city-states, largely under French or Austrian rulership at the time of Napoleon's invasion. The peoples identified with their area, which is clearly expressed by the use of dialect; a standardized usage of Italian was not determined until the Risorgimento. This book traces the difficulties and challenges of unification and nationhood: divisions between North and South, leadership, the Church, the monarchy, dictatorship, world and civil war, the mafia, and party divisions. Italy continues to struggle to this day with debt and corruption. If you want to deepen your understanding of a culture and its people, this is a rewarding and rich examination.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Comprehensive History
This is a well written, interesting and insightful effort. From the invasion by Napoleon that got the idea of a united country started even if just for administrative reasons to Garibaldi's impact in the 1860s which actually created Italy as a single if very fragmented nation to the the continuing struggles among numerous political and religions factions that to this day impact how Italians think of themselves, this is an excellent way to get an understanding of Italy. I found the impact of such things as the division of church vs state and how that impacted politics over the decades very insightful. The political differences among the communists, fascists, republicans and the church and how the power ebbed and flowed among them over the decades was very interesting and insightful.I knew a bit about the regional differences, especially those between north and south but did not realize that they have existed from the beginning and how many facets there are to this division, even now.

I do have one caveat. From about page 50 to about 150, the author repeatedly went off on a tangent with discussions of art and literature that got a bit abstract. For a time I wasn't sure I was reading a history of Italy or a history of Italian art.But that aside, I highly recommend this as a way to get an understanding of this complex and interesting country.

4-0 out of 5 stars Italian History
This book is a must for anyone interested in Italian history.It brings to life the expression that Italy is merely a geographic expression.It's broad brush treatment of the Mussolini years is excellent.The progression of Italian history as detailed in the book gives the reader a true sense of how milestones in Italian history follow logically from what has gone before.Moreover, the writing is not pedantic or academic.It's a good read.Highly reoommend this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Biased
Christopher Duggan writes an easily readable account of the Italian Risorgimento, an area he obviously knows a considerable amount about.Unfortunately, he follows the standard English interpretation of Italy as an unfortunate and lowly place.His contempt for Italy and Italians is obvious and leads him astray.

Claiming that Hapsburg Spain "stabilized" Italy by conquering the peninsula and stacking Rome in 1527 is absurd, but is a fine example of the general anti-Italian tone of the book.Another annoyance is Duggan's preference for non-Italian contemporary accounts and descriptions of Italy and Italians.Alessandro Manzoni (of great literary fame) is brushed to the side while Metternich's opinion on the lack of an Italian "nation" (while in reality a poor attempt to justify his government's (Austria) continued rule over Italy) is claimed to be an impassioned and accurate description.

I only rate it at 3 stars because the prejudices found here are the same repeated in all English accounts of the Italian's heroic overthrow of 3 centuries of foreign rule.

All in all, I would NOT recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Narrative of Italian History
This is a captivating and well-written history of the last two centuries of Italy.The author manages to summarize the important events in Italian history, and at the same time weave throughout a consistent narrative of this story: namely, the struggles that Italy has had in forging a national "identity" out of the assorted states and peoples that have constituted it.Italy's sordid experiment with Fascism is seen, in this light, as the culmination of patriots' and nationalists' attempts to create this identity.They, of course, went too far and created instead disaster for the Italian people.

The book is written very well, and many of the chapters are page-turners.The chapter immediately following the collapse of fascism is particularly good, beginning with the death of Mussolini and the maltreatment of his corpse and ending with his body being interred in state, where is remains.It nicely sums up the fact that, while Fascism ought to have signaled an end to extreme nationalism in Italy, the anti-fascists were unable to complete the task.

It is difficult to follow some of the action and characters, especially in the beginning, where it is hard to keep track of all of those revolutions!The last two chapters don't offer that much, and it probably should be seen as more of a history from 1796-1957 rather than until present.But this is a great read! ... Read more

9. Nature and History in Modern Italy (Ecology & History)
Paperback: 360 Pages (2010-08-31)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$21.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0821419161
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Is Italy il bel paese—the beautiful country—where tourists spend their vacations looking for art, history, and scenery? Or is it a land whose beauty has been cursed by humanity’s greed and nature’s cruelty? The answer is largely a matter of narrative and the narrator’s vision of Italy. The fifteen essays in Nature and History in Modern Italy investigate that nation’s long experience in managing domesticated rather than wild natures and offer insight into these conflicting visions. Italians shaped their land in the most literal sense, producing the landscape, sculpting its heritage, embedding memory in nature, and rendering the two different visions inseparable. The interplay of Italy’s rich human history and its dramatic natural diversity is a subject with broad appeal to a wide range of readers.
... Read more

10. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture
by Gabrielle Ann Euvino
Paperback: 408 Pages (2001-10-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$6.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0028642341
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
You-re no idiot, of course. You know there-s more to Italy-s rich tapestry than spaghetti and the Sicilian Mafia, but you also know you have a lot to learn about the country that brought you the paintings of Michelangelo, the poetry of Dante, and the Ferrari of your dreams.Get ready to indulge! The Complete Idiot-s Guide- to Italian History and Culture will satisfy your thirst for all things Italian with its in-depth information about Italian art and literature, wine and cooking, and famous Italians and Italian Americans. In this Complete Idiot-s Guide-, you get:* Secrets of Italian cooking sure to whet your appetite!* The Italian-American connection, from pizza to the Mafia to soccer.* A comprehensive look at the centuries-long struggle to unify Italy.* The power and glory of the Renaissance. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

1-0 out of 5 stars From what I've read... full of inaccuracies...
I've just glanced at this book thanks to Amazon's feature "look inside" and as an Italian, I feel like dropping some lines about what I've read.
I have had the chance to read only few pages but I've encountered some inaccuracies that make me think the author has done a good research about Italy.
First... There is a "di interessa" all over the book probably intended to highlight interesting points inside the chapters. The correct form is "di interesse". "Di interessa" is a pure mistake.
Second thing... The author says that a typical Italian saying is "Una faccia una razza", namely "one face one race" but this is isn't a typical Italian saying at all. It is Greek and wants to state that Italians and Greeks share the same background.
I didn't want to read further but what I've read is enough to me to say that this isn't the suitable book for those people who want to know more about my country. I assume that as I've found two serious mistakes in two pages, I might find many more in the rest of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for travelers and buffs, not snobs
Euvino, et al, have done a marvelous job with what is essentially an impossible task--giving non-Italians introductory access to one of the most rich and textured cultures in the world. Their choices in topic and detail will enliven any visit (from the "boot" to the top of the country), and add a dash of knowledge (more than a pinch, less than a cup) to people contemplating such a journey. As a companion book to her guide to "Learning Italian", this book is a must buy.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture
Gabrielle Euvino's guides to Italian language and history provide clear, consise information imbued with intelligence, warmth and humor. She has an inherent love of the culture and strong sensitivity for the neophyte student who seeks information. A desire to learn is all that's required of anyone looking to Euvino's books for understanding Italian and Italy. Expect to be charmed and entertained by the unexpected, as well as provided an education.

4-0 out of 5 stars I would have been lost without you!!
I just returned from a fabulous trip to Italy, and I found this book to be an invaluable aid. It truly helped me get a richer and more insightful appreciation of Italian culture and history. Congrats to the authors for a superlative job. Their work was instructive, detailed and entertaining.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't underestimate yourself--you're not this stupid
If you have a real interest in the country, language & culture you deserve better than this hackneyed effort. Too general, too superficial: do not pass go, do not collect . Keep looking, there are many good lists by people here about Italy ... Read more

11. The history of Italy
by John Adams, Francesco Guicciardini
Paperback: 472 Pages (2010-05-13)
list price: US$37.75 -- used & new: US$21.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1149406216
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Good if you don't want the full history.
Guicciardini is one of the great historians. He was involved in the events on which he writes. He weaves a fascinating tale about the political and military turmoil that engulfed Italy in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

His main weakness from a modern perspective is that he inserts speeches, sometimes lengthy, at key points of his history. He also summarises the circumstances and options that faced different rulers in times of crises. While these may not always be strictly history, they are still useful by presenting contemporary perspectives on historic events, and can challenge our modern assumptions.

Alexander has not only cut out the speeches and opinions of Guicciardini but, more importantly, has also cut out much of the genuine historical narrative. The book has thus lost much of its natural continuity and become a collection of historical excerpts, rather than an exciting masterpiece of history. Alexander's book also wastes much space on pictures and diagrams that could be usefully devoted to more translated text.

I subsequently bought the original 18th century English translation of Guicciardini's history so that I could enjoy the full story - expensive, but worth it.

If you wish to enjoy the full history, I would suggest reading the unabridged on-line translation from the John Adams Library at the Boston Public Library on the American Archives On-Line Library. I am hoping that the Boston Public Library will publish all 10 volumes in paperback some day for those who, like me, enjoy book versions.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great original, shame about the translation
First, Guicciardini: a fun read like Herodotus he is not - more like Thucydides in fact in his fusion of passion and objectivity.You get the sense of a really great mind at work on one of the crucial periods of Eutopean history.
But I'm able to say this because the shortcomings of Alexander's version exasperated me so much that I looked out a complete one.
First, the selection: I suppose this is a matter of taste but too often Alexander cuts out when it's just starting to get interesting.In particular, I could have wished for more on Cesare Borgia and the Fianal defeat of the French in 1528.
Second, the English: Alexander fancies himself as a stylist but fails miserably.He apes Guicciardini's long sentences but can't control his own; his grammar frequently shows him up (e.g. "whom he said was"), he falls into translationese like "the fled duke" and "furibond" with which a tenth grade student would incur the teacher's red underlining, and occasionally he misunderstands the original: there's one passage where he represents some envoys, I think, as travelling in the reverse direction to that which they must have taken!
The best thing I can say for the book is that it left me dissatisfied and forced me to look elsewhere.

4-0 out of 5 stars The High Renaissance And You Are There
This is an extraordinary book, on many levels.It is a concise abridgement of a much longer work and a fine, readable translation of the original 16th century Italian.More importantly, the substance ispriceless.This is nothing less than a guided tour of the amazing eventsof the late 15th and early 16th centuries, from a clear-eyed, surprisinglyobjective reporter who knows whereof he speaks.Guicciardini was, amongother things, Machiavelli's assistant and an adviser to popes.Writingfrom the vantage point of his personal observation of the events of hislifetime, he discusses:the Medici, the building of the dome of St.Peter's for the jubilee of 1500, the related sale of indulgences, theensuing "Lutheran heresy," the discovery of the new world, HenryVIII's divorce and the ensuing separation of the Church of England, and thearrival of syphillis in Europe, among other topics.Be warned that it isdense material, but it is worth the effort. ... Read more

12. Modern Italy: A Political History
by Denis Mack Smith
Hardcover: 522 Pages (1997-12-01)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$22.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0472108956
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This history of modern Italy began in March 1861 when Count Camillo Cavour proclaimed a united Italian kingdom with the goal of creating a prosperous, liberal new power in Europe. For a country whose ancient heritage had placed it at the center of western culture, this late entry into nationhood and rapid reach for power would bring frequent crisis. In this fully revised edition of his classic history of the country, Denis Mack Smith provides a complete and engaging narrative of the fate of Italy from Risorgimento to the present.
For sixty years after 1861 Italy was governed by a liberal oligarchy under a parliamentary constitution. Italy chose the winning side in the First World War, but the enormous costs of victory revealed social tensions and constitutional weaknesses that prepared the way, after 1920, for Europe's first fascist dictatorship.
After the painful civil war that followed World War II, Italy rediscovered liberal democracy, and under a new republican regime became one of the major industrialized countries of the world.
First published in 1958 as Italy: A Modern History, the book has been substantially rewritten with a new section on the period after 1945, a new bibliography, new maps, and updated factual appendices. Stylish, clearly written, deeply informed and often controversial, it remains the definitive account for anyone interested in modern Italy.
". . . an extraordinarily good and concise introduction to the scandals that almost destroyed the Italian Republic." --Alexander DeGrand, North Carolina State University
"No one will be surprised that in this new edition Mack Smith recounts the recent history of the Republic up to 1996 with the same shrewd authorial eye, both distant and perceptive, the deep knowledge, and the skill that made the older edition of this book a classic." --Raymond Grew, University of Michigan
Denis Mack Smith is a Fellow of the British Academy and Wolfson College, Oxford, and a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been awarded a dozen literary prizes in Italy and is a Commendatore of the Italian Order of Merit. Among his recent books are Italy and Its Monarchy (1989) and Mazzini (1994).
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Anti-Italian Sentiments
In Modern Italy Denis Mack Smith has fallen into the error of most British historians of Italy.They see the complex and diverse history of the Italian people as a joke and this book is written in that spirit.Smith misses few opportunities to ridicule the Risorgimento and the Italians that were able to throw off 3 centuries of foreign occupation and re-establish the independence of the peninsula that hadn't been seen since the Renaissance that ended with the brutal Sack of Rome in 1527.Smith covers the era in enough detail (the book's sole saving grace), but the air of superiority he assumes and his general attitude toward the era is unfortunate.I don't recommend this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars thorough flawed
THis book is an account of Italian Politics rom 1860 to the present.It details the rise of Liberalism in italy and the subsequent rise of fascism and then the Christian Democratic control of Italy following the war.Luminaries include politicians like Craxi and Mussulini.Unfortunatly Mr. Smith is far to harsh in his criticism and almost purpously humorous accounts of Italy's role in political and military affairs.unfortunatly there are few books that document Italy's political history for such a long period 1860-present.Theirfore it is a worthwhile read to understand the long passage of Italian political history.

Unfortunatly I think Mr. SMith underestimates the great Italian politicians like Craxi and Mussulini and Crispi, the many faces of Italian politics, he makes fun of Italys military adventures(against the Ethiopians, Austrians, Americans, and Libyans among others).It is unfair to pretend that Italy was totally incompetant when in fact it played a major role in this centuries many wars.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very thorough review of Italian politics since unification
In this book, I got exactly what I wanted: an understanding of the actors, events, and movements in Italian political history starting with unification in the mid-19th century. Cavour, Mazzini, Garibaldi, Crispi, Giolitti, Mussolini, De Gasperi. The author does a wonderful job of constructing these characters (and others) while conveying the changing political and societal backdrop in which they labored. A lack of tempocentrism and equal emphasis on the earlier periods were very positive in my view. Detailed explanations of the causes, mechanisms, and failures of Mussolini and fascism were especially well done. ... Read more

13. History of Modern Italy: Documents, Readings and Commentary
by Shepard B. Clough, S. Saladino, Shepard Bancroft Clough, Salvatore Saladino
 Hardcover: 668 Pages (1969-01)
list price: US$17.50
Isbn: 0231028369
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

14. Rome and Italy: Books VI-X of the History of Rome from its Foundation (Penguin Classics) (Bks.6-10)
by Titus Livy
Paperback: 384 Pages (1982-08-26)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140443886
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Books VI-X of Livy's monumental work trace Rome's fortunes from its near collapse after defeat by the Gauls in 386 bc to its emergence, in a matter of decades, as the premier power in Italy, having conquered the city-state of Samnium in 293 bc. In this fascinating history, events are described not simply in terms of partisan politics, but through colorful portraits that bring the strengths, weaknesses and motives of leading figures such as the noble statesman Camillus and the corrupt Manlius vividly to life. While Rome's greatest chronicler intended his history to be a memorial to former glory, he also had more didactic aims - hoping that readers of his account could learn from the past ills and virtues of the city. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Good Read, Nearly as Good as Books I-V
The second five books of Livy's history of Rome from its foundations are epic and inspiring.The magic of Livy is only greater in the 1st five books, where the mythology and Livy's admiration for the characters are greater.The 6th book begins at a time when Rome was still just a single city, though a powerful and feared one, with a few allies and many treacherous enemies constantly watching for their opportunity to attack.Livy paints a picture of Rome's victories that shows that intelligence and fairness are the keys to military success, while Rome's enemies' treachery and ham-fisted strategies can only lead to failure.

The epic story of Rome is still very fresh and riveting in books VI-X.Anyone who read and enjoyed the first five books should gain a similar joy from reading the next five.

I am currently reading Gibbon's unabridged History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and though I'm only a chapter or two into it it seems clear that it won't hold a candle to Livy for sheer epic excitement.Though I could be wrong.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice edition
Like the Early History of Rome (Books 1-5), I though this was a good edition.The translation is reasonably accessible and the work important.

In it one learns of a number of episodic tales (perhaps garnered from folklore by Livy?) recounting wars with Gauls, Sabines, etc. and the advancement of Roman military tactics along with the usual politics, intrigue, and moral stories one is used to finding from Livy.

This is a fine edition.It is not quite as important as the Early History but it is important nonetheless and this translation is as good as any.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic History
Livy, a contemporary of the Emperor Augustus, devoted his adult life to the writing of his HISTORY OF ROME. The entire work was probably intended to comprise 120 books. Subsequently it seems he was prevailed upon to add a further 30 books covering contemporary events, of which he completed just 22. Only 35 of the total of 142 books Livy wrote survive to the present day. They come from among the first 45 and cover most of the period from the founding of Rome to 167 BC. This volume, ROME AND ITALY, contains Books VI through X, covering the period from 386 BC (the aftermath of Rome's defeat by the Gauls) to 292 BC. During this 94 year span, Rome rose to become the dominant power on the Italian peninsula.

Most of the events Livy describes happened long before his lifetime. Because of the sparse written records, especially from Rome's early history, he had to rely on traditional information, the writings of other historians, and public records (i.e. inscriptions, statues, lists of consuls and triumphs). On occasion, when faced with conflicting accounts, Livy notes his difficulty and presents the different possibilities along with comments on what he believes was the most likely course of events.

Two common themes run through the histories presented in this volume. One is the continual warfare between Rome and its rivals, most notably the Samnites and the Etruscans. Livy's description of these events is episodic, giving the reader little sense of the larger conflict. There's an uprising here, another there, but little indication of the broader objective as Rome extends its power and dominion ever farther. It always seems that the city is threatened and has no choice but to respond.

The other recurring theme is the political battle within Rome between the dominant patricians, determined to hold on to their monopoly of the most powerful state positions, and the plebeians, who aspire to a share of leadership. Livy, a believer in the virtue and superiority of the old ways, but sympathetic to the talents and abilities of many of the plebeian leaders, seems personally torn on this issue. At times he seems to support the propriety of one side, at times the aspirations of the other.

Livy is probably not the most rigorous historian ever, but remember that he intended his HISTORY for a popular and contemporary audience, and not with future ages much in mind. He wanted to inform, and to promote what he saw as the traditional virtues of Roman society to the populace of his own era, which he viewed as corrupt and decadent. Even now, however, his work makes for interesting and informative reading. Some of what he relates is mythical in nature, some possibly sensationalized, but he was writing for a popular audience and sought to entertain as well as inform. His work still does exactly that. It's an opportunity to look at events through the eyes of a man who lived more than two thousand years ago. I found this book fascinating. It's classic history. Don't pass it by.

5-0 out of 5 stars History of Rome
Titus Livius, (Livy) 59BCE-17ACE, born in Padua he was a popular and much admired writer in his day.His history was a favorite of Caesar Augustus who reigned during the time of the writing of the "History of Early Rome".His facts are not the most accurate, but like Plutarch, he believed that; "if history were not morally instructive, it was nothing.""History of Early Rome" is a valiant effort at recalling and preserving the memory of the noble deeds of the Romans.The history opens with the Trojans wandering into Rome to found a new city around 750BCE.It traces the history of Romulus the founder, the period of Roman kingship and then the Roman Republic era.Livy has a wonderful description of the "rape of the Sabine women" in which Rome's men conduct to increase their population.Wonderful telling of the life and acts of the noble and humble Cinncinatus who many of George Washington's contemporaries believed modeled himself after and held many of the same virtues.It contains an in depth look at Coriolanus, which was the source material for Shakespeare's play "Coriolanus"."Shared danger is the strongest of bonds; it will keep men united in spite of mutual dislike and suspicion."

Machiavelli loved reading Livy's histories and wrote his most important philosophical work from it, "The Discourses", in which he glorifies republican Rome as a model of good government.Thomas Jefferson wrote to his nephew that there were three books every gentleman had to have familiarity with; Plutarch's "Lives", Livy's "History of Rome" and Virgil's Aeneid.In fact, all the founding fathers of note had read Livy and learned much from his history of Rome.

If you are truly interested in obtaining a classical education, put this book on the top of your reading list!I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in political philosophy, and history.

5-0 out of 5 stars A dated translation, but still great reading.
This volume contains books VI through X of Livy's monumental 120+ volume history of Rome.It covers the time between the sack of the city by the Gauls (c. 396 BCE) and Rome's emergence as the single most powerful state in Italy (c. 293 BCE).Like other Penguin classics, the translation in this volume is just a bit dated and stuffy in tone, but the warmth and vitality of Livy's style shines through nonetheless.

One of the benefits to being interested in ancient Rome in particular is that the Romans were such a literate people, and so taken with their own perceived greatness, that they wrote a great deal, and much of this writing has survived down to our own times.Not only does this provide an invaluable window onto the remote past, it also makes for good reading.Livy (and a number of other Roman era authors) can sound remarkably modern in their sentiments, and even casual readers should be pleasantly surprised by the vigor and readability of Livy's prose. ... Read more

15. Italy: History and Landscape
by Eugen Beer
Hardcover: 399 Pages (2010-08)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$12.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0760783721
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
With more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country ,it seems as if around every corner in Italy lies a beautiful Roman ruin, a breathtaking Renaissance church , or a timeless village view. But it is not just the buildings that are beautiful: Italy's landscapes-high mountains, rolling hills and valleys, and sun-washed coasts have inspired generations of writers and painters. Italians seem to have an innate feeling for color and design, and when you study their countryside it comes as no surprise that so many of the world's greatest artist,poets,and musicians came from or were drawn to this stunning land. Filled with wonderful photography, Italy: History and Landscape explores the country by regions. Each section gives a flavor of the area,its countryside and historic buildings,from the snowy Alps of the North,through the magical atmosphere of Venice and the Veneto, romantic Tuscany,and central Italy-Perugia and Umbria, Lazio and Emilia Romagna-to the hot Mediterranean island of Sicily and Sardinia ... Read more

16. Architecture in Italy, 1400-1500 (The Yale University Press Pelican History of Art)
by Ludwig H. Heydenreich
Paperback: 196 Pages (1996-02-21)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300064675
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In 15th-century Florence, Brunelleschi's buildings and Alberti's treatise first established the principles of Italian Renaissance architecture in practice and theory. This survey ranges from Brunelleschi's dome for the Florence Cathedral to the works of Bramante and Leonardo in the Quattrocento. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Only useful for the specialist.
This book is considered to be "the great survey" of early Renaissance architecture, and is, in fact, the only one that has ever been written covering the subject (except for a 1998 book in Italian that is really more a collection of articles). I find this lack of surveys rather surprising as Renaissance architecture is one of the most well-loved subjects in art history, and I would think that specialists, students, and laymen would demand a simple World of Art kind of treatment of the topic. The Pelican series generally does not provide this type of clear, thesis-driven introductory text, and Heydenreich's book is no exception. It is a collection of facts--a catalog of "this building was built then and it shows influence from that and the architect was so-and-so"--with minimal interpretation and explanation (we generally don't even learn what details indicate that "this" building was influenced by "that" one). A great deal of familiarity with the material is required on the part of the reader, so the text entirely failed my mission of gaining a broad understanding of quattrocento architecture. If you are well-versed in the topic and are looking for a reference, this book may be helpful; if you're looking for elucidation, it almost surely won't be. The most Heydenreich seems to be able to say about the style of buildings or the reason they were compelling to their contemporaries is that they were "perfect" and "beautiful," terms I have heard altogether too frequently (and too frequently unexplained) from Renaissance art historians. I regret that I have no better book to recommend in Heydenreich's place.

On a somewhat different note, the binding of the paperback Pelican books is shoddy at best. By the time I had finished this book, which I did read cover to cover despite really disliking it (it's only 151 pages anyway), all of its pages were falling out! ... Read more

17. A History of Italy (Palgrave Essential Histories)
by Claudia Baldoli
Paperback: 256 Pages (2009-12-15)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1403986169
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Intertwining the history of art, literature, food, music and religion, Baldoli explores Italy's history from the Middle Ages to the present. The book offers an insight into continuities across past and present day Italian culture, politics, and identity, drawing on a range of recent historiography and contemporary sources. 
... Read more

18. Economic History of Modern Italy
by Shepard B. Clough
 Hardcover: Pages (1964-12)
list price: US$15.00
Isbn: 0231026358
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

19. Architecture in Italy, 1500-1600 (The Yale University Press Pelican History of Art)
by Wolfgang Lotz
Paperback: 214 Pages (1995-11-29)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$29.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300064691
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This work presents a survey of Italian Renaissance architecture in the Cinquecento. It discusses the work of Bramante, Giulio Romano, Michelangelo and Palladio, among others, as well as the various centres of architectural activity throughout Italy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Architectural History at its Best
Wolfgang Lotz's Architecture in Italy, 1500-1600 is awonderful introduction and survey of the majesty of Italian Renaissance Architecture.I had the privilage of studying under Richard Tuttle who is recognized inthe introduction,who showed me the brilliance of Lotz's work as well ashis ability to show the beautyof architecture.This book is a must forany serious academic student or architectural enthusiast.Lotz'spresentation of Italian Architecture is a continuation of LudwigHeydenreich's Architecture in Italy, 1400-1500, and when read together iscertainly the definitive work on Renaissance Architecture.The marvelouspictures and diagrams are the best published images I have come across. ... Read more

20. A History of Venice
by John Julius Norwich
Paperback: 736 Pages (1989-06-18)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$15.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679721975
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Traces the rise ot empire of this city from its 5th century beginnings all the way through until 1797 when Napolean put an end to the thousand year-old Republic. 32 pages of black and white photos, 4 maps and charts. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars Most serene
This is another one of those books that I left on the shelf for an outrageous length of time, fearing that if I picked it up I might drop it and thus kill the cat. It's 673 pages long, including indices, and a close type at that. Once I finally ran out of new excuses for keeping it in my backlog, I basically inhaled the entire content in one, three-week-long draught. It just shows how expectations can confound. Norwich looks like the kind of work with which one beats off intruders, but it was, in fact, a joy to read.

I have skirted around Venice for several years now, but if you are interested in the history of the Mediterranean, of Byzantium, of piracy or of Islam - and I am interested in all of these - there comes a time when you can no longer use this work as a doorstop. Norwich is one of the standard works in the English language. The fact that it was also a pleasure to read came as an additional bonus.

Norwich is a little prone to the deformity of many history writers in that he tends to concentrate on rulers, successions and power struggles and says much less about, for instance, the health, diet and labour of the common woman. However, this bias does not run to exclusion, and it would probably have been impossible to write of Venice without discussing its trade and shipping. In any case, where Venice is concerned the political history is more interesting than it would normally be, as la Serenissima happened to be one of the Big Three key Republics of history, as I see it, coming between Rome and the USA and bringing more continuity to the idea of the Republic than I had previously considered.

Venice in Norwich's words cannot fail to appeal. In being so coldly acquisitive a mercantile power, it mostly managed to avoid partaking of the atrocities of the Middle and Late Middle Ages simply because they were bad for business. The notorious exception, Venice's role in the rape of Constantinople, Norwich manages to place in a less negative perspective, as Constantinople herself had not long before indulged in an orgy of persecution of Western Christians far more grave than the looting to which the Crusaders subjected her, and the looting was in any case much the work of Northern European mercenaries and the Franks. Still, it was Venice that turned the Fourth Crusade against Constantinople and she must bear ultimate responsibility. Norwich seeks to apologise, but the stain remains.

Otherwise, Venice seems in all respects extraordinary and admirable. Sometimes weak, true, it was forever caught in struggles with the Lombards, French and Turks, the Milanese and Genoese which it did not always manage well. Obsessed with keeping a dynasty or a tyranny from arising, it political system was excessively complex and prone to elect ineffectual and exceedingly old doges. Still, it worked. Business was free to prosper, while the reins of serious power were kept in the hands of the state. In particular, the merchants as much as the military enjoyed the services of shipyards which were nationalised and standardised to a level of productivity where at their height, when timber could be still taken for granted, they could produce a galleon per day and recover from the most injurious naval reverses in mere months.

One revelation from this book was that it was Napoleon that finally ended the days of Venice as a Republic. Another is that Venice was, originally, a Greek city in the sphere of influence of Orthodoxy. (Although if you know Italy, you'll understand that no region is truly "Italian", as the nation is a modern confection.) Possibly most interesting, however, is the previously missed realisation that it was not merely Islam's decline that was heralded with Vasco de Gama's forging of a Cape route to the East. I had long credited this with removing the Muslim world from the hub of trade and thus of history. The fact is, however, that Venice was equally hurt, and never thereafter regained her full glory. The Mediterranean, increasingly, did not matter, and a hinge of history turned to render the Atlantic the new hub. Spain and Britain rose, and the Americas began to bend the rubber sheet of the world with their gravity. Thus has Norwich added a key new understanding to my admittedly poor grasp of historical contingency.

Norwich is also responsible for perpetrating the monumental three-volume work on Byzantium. It looks like it will be my next port of call after Venice.

5-0 out of 5 stars A History of Venice
The perfect preparation for a visit to La Serenissima.Wise and witty, and not overly sentimental.

5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific read
This is quite simply the best history of Venice that I have been able to find. Lord Norwich has been for some time the definitive Venice historian and this is his basic text. Surprisingly readable for such a monumental topic. Reading it makes a trip to Venice even more interesting than it would otherwise be. And that is quite a compliment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything it is cracked up to be
The other reviews are very accurate and I won't repeat them. I want to make only two additional observations. One, this is 99% a political history, a history of war, diplomacy, statecraft, empire and government.There is virtually nothing regarding art, culture, society, economy, daily life etc. The other more pragmatic note for potential buyers is the font of this edition is on the small side which makes for a long read for older eyes.

2-0 out of 5 stars Apologia for Venice from British historian
Most of the time this book is about chronological pass of events as if listed from Venetian Great Council or Doge secretarial archives. The backbone of the book is the list of Venetian Doges spanning from 700s to the end of the Republic. For almost every one of them Mr. Norwich has something to say or at least uses them as a background for his story. The story developing around this backbone is more or less about political, contemporary bourgeois gossip, state organization and military history, sometimes expanded with infinitesimal elements of architecture and art history (who painted certain events picture, in what church is someone buried and where the sarcophagus was moved once the church was rebuilt, etc). Economical, technological, sociological, strategical, geographical, philological, linguistic, ethnical, etc, history this is not. Neither should you expect it to have elements of it. This history is completely devoid of them and this is what makes the book a rather dull reading all in all. Which is a pity as Venetian history is incomprehensible without them. I can not say that I do not understand the chronological pass of events now somewhat better in Serenissimas history then I did before. However, I could have also used Wikipedia to harvest this information and somehow I think I would have been better informed about it in the end. So, if You want to understand why the Venetians ruled the european see trade for half a millennium from Baltic to Beirut, why they were the fathers of modern espionage and what were their biggest exploits, why the adriatic Slav (Schiavoni) Venetian soldiers cried in grief for Venice in 1797, what city in Venetian commonwealth had the honor of carrying the flag of the Republic into every naval conflict, why are Venetian words for shipbuilding tools different then Italian ones, what strange cohabitation developed between orthodox subjects and Venetian rulers in Aegean and Adriatic and what makes the Venetian bank and stock exchange system crucial to its success, is not to be found in this book. If on the other hand You want to read the great Apologia for Venetian politics You are more then welcome, because at times this is what Mr. Norwich is eloquent to provide, i.e. You are to read that Venice was single handedly fighting the Turks and that not a single earthly power came to the rescue for decades or centuries, which is not true of course, etc and etc. The only two unforgivable events attributed to Venice itself being the sack of Constantinople in 1204 and destruction of Acropolis in Athens.
Also, as the great British historian and in the footsteps of others like him (Runciman), Mr. Norwich has a blind spot for small european nations and even if he mentions them at all, then it is to say something nasty, i.e. he fails not to inform us that the Hungarians are being rumored of cannibalism when they for the first time appear on the scene in 900s. That is surely good to know as far as the history of the Venetian republic is concerned. As someone already noticed in the reviews, Albanians, Adriatic Slavs, Latins and Greeks as subjects to Venetian rule are almost not treated at all, albeit they constituted the Venetian Republic for centuries and bled for her in all major battles including Lepanto and Candia under their own captains, to say the least. ... Read more

  1-20 of 99 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats