A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics,

A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics, 1943-1988 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 AMAZING This should have been my high school textbook on Italian history.Of COURSE the italian communist party was under the guide of the Soviets and PRECISELY FOR THAT REASON they posed no threat to italian democracy in fact, they were a conservative force, restraining the revolutionary impulses of workers and landless peasants Remember that the Soviets played a very similar role in revolutionary spainit also helps to explain a great deal of how the italian state came to be in the dep AMAZING This should have been my high school textbook on Italian history.Of COURSE the italian communist party was under the guide of the Soviets and PRECISELY FOR THAT REASON they posed no threat to italian democracy in fact, they were a conservative force, restraining the revolutionary impulses of workers and landless peasants Remember that the Soviets played a very similar role in revolutionary spainit also helps to explain a great deal of how the italian state came to be in the deplorable condition it is now TRA LA PERDUTA GENTECome dice il titolo, lo studio si ferma all anno 1988 Quello dopo il libro era gi nelle librerie, pubblicato Io l ho letto una manciata di anni dopo, ancora caldo.A me fa tremare le vene dei polsi trovare un testo sotto l etichetta di storia che analizza e racconta qualcosa che ancora sotto i nostri occhi, che non ancora passato I miei anni di studi storici mi portano a ritenere che sia l impresa pi difficile raccogliere e studiare il magma incandescente della TRA LA PERDUTA GENTECome dice il titolo, lo studio si ferma all anno 1988 Quello dopo il libro era gi nelle librerie, pubblicato Io l ho letto una manciata di anni dopo, ancora caldo.A me fa tremare le vene dei polsi trovare un testo sotto l etichetta di storia che analizza e racconta qualcosa che ancora sotto i nostri occhi, che non ancora passato I miei anni di studi storici mi portano a ritenere che sia l impresa pi difficile raccogliere e studiare il magma incandescente della cronaca con gli eventi connessi, interpretati, documentati Wow Oppure, brrr.Dal 1957 al 1977.Grazie a Ginsborg, che inglese, ma naturalizzato italiano, e insegna nell universit dove io mi sono laureato, ma purtroppo ha cominciato a farlo quando io ne ero gi uscito, e del nostro paese ha perfino partecipato alla vita politica i girotondi , grazie al suo approccio per nulla italiano, allarga il concetto di storia seguendo la lezione delle Annales, abbracciando quasi tutte le modalit del visibile e dell accaduto, nessuna esclusa, dalla politica, all economia, alla societ , al costume, allo sport, allo spettacolo, alla vita quotidiana, in un tentativo di storia totale che rende affascinante e temerario il lavoro dello storico moderno Wow Oppure, brrr.La madre di tutte le stragi Piazza Fontana.Quello che segue l inizio della sua breve premessa L Italia del 1943 era una nazione in cui, al di fuori delle principali aree urbane, ben poco era cambiato rispetto ai tempi di Garibaldi e Cavour Si tratta di un paese ancora prevalentemente agricolo, caratterizzato da grandi e ancora intatte bellezze naturali, da sonnolente citt di provincia, da una povert endemica, soprattutto nel Sud, da una cultura popolare ancora profondamente contadina e dialettale.Era anche un paese in crisi profonda La volont imperialistica ed espansionistica di Mussolini aveva portato l Italia a subire una duplice invasione, quella tedesca dal Nord e quella alleata dal Sud La stessa integrit dello Stato nazionale, vecchio nemmeno di ottant anni, era messa in discussione Quarantacinque anni pi tardi, il volto dell Italia si trasformato tanto da risultare quasi irriconoscibile Intanto, essa divenuta una delle nazioni economicamente pi forti del mondo, con un prodotto interno lordo pi o meno equivalente a quello della Gran Bretagna, dopo aver bruciato le tappe di un processo straordinariamente rapido di accumulazione, di urbanizzazione, di secolarizzazione Le culture contadine dei secoli precedenti non sono scomparse del tutto, ma sono state sostituite da un unica cultura nazionale urbana Vi stata una migrazione senza precedenti dalle campagne alle citt , e dal meridione al settentrione Durante gli anni dello Stato repubblicano, insomma, l Italia ha assistito al pi profondo rivolgimento sociale della sua storia PSDopo l unit di Italia, si reputa che Massimo D Azeglio abbia detto qualcosa del genere ora che l Italia fatta, dobbiamo fare gli italiani.Centosessanta anni dopo sappiamo che gli italiani sono ancora ben lontani, soggetti non pervenuti ma a questo punto, direi che la stessa Italia sembra ancora debba davvero essere fatta POST WAR ITALY Paul Ginsborg s A History of Contemporary Italy begins with the Italians reaping the disastrous rewards of over two decades of Mussolini s rule The Allies have invaded southern Italy, and on the removal of El Duce the Germans invade from the north The author expertly portrays the chaotic situation, with an increasingly popular Resistance in the north fighting the Germans who are themselves trying to consolidate their control and stop the Allied forces from battling their way u POST WAR ITALY Paul Ginsborg s A History of Contemporary Italy begins with the Italians reaping the disastrous rewards of over two decades of Mussolini s rule The Allies have invaded southern Italy, and on the removal of El Duce the Germans invade from the north The author expertly portrays the chaotic situation, with an increasingly popular Resistance in the north fighting the Germans who are themselves trying to consolidate their control and stop the Allied forces from battling their way up the peninsula towards Germany itself.Ginsborg is particularly good on the tensions between the Resistance largely formed of Communists and the Allies along with the Italian government formed after Mussolini was deposed It is clear, that as in Greece, the Allies have no intention of leaving the Italians to sort out their own political future and clearly favour the right, particularly but not exclusively those who kept their hands relatively clean during the fascist era This goes as far as minimally looking the other way as the Mafia re established themselves in Sicily.The book is broadly sympathetic to the left in Italy but without compromising on impartially telling the story of Italy s recovery under the Christian Democrats, or the limitations of the left themselves This reader, for one, ended up wishing that the Communists had sent their leader Togliatti back to Moscow, along with the Stalinist style structures which weighed the party down and his policy of appeasement vis vis the Christian Democrats which achieved nothing.Ginsborg s attention is focussed primarily on social, political and economic developments as they evolved during the post war recovery and beyond A constant authorial eye is kept on changing programs and policies of all parties whether it s the Christian Democrats in central government, or other parties at the local level, as well as the economic and the social circumstances of the country, from the industrial and relatively advanced north to the impoverished rural south Other topics covered include developments in the working class movements, the upheavals of 1968, agrarian reform, organised crime and industrial policy There is also a substantial amount of social, political and economic data in a statistical appendix at the end of the book.This is a substantial work that is very well written Ginsborg, who himself has spent a good deal of time in Italy, conveys an enormous amount of information about the changing circumstances of post war Italy This is frequently accompanied with first hand accounts from all manner of people, from the world of high politics and business to the southern rural migrant in the industrial north, that leave the reader with a vivid sense of developments If there is one problem it is that though the book claims to tell the story of Italy up until 1988, most of the detail is with regard to the period up to 1980 with a short final chapter of twenty or so pages covering the main developments in the 1980 s Otherwise this is a book I would whole heartedly recommend to anyone who is interested in Italy in particular, andgenerally in how a western European country developed during the economic golden age up until the 1970 s and how afterwards things changed The book interweaves the economic, political, and societal changes of a 45 period when Italy made the jump from a backward state, where German and allied armies fought and a civil war raged to a modern state with an economy about the same size as Great Britain Italy had the largest neo fascist party in the west and the largest communist party as well Throughout all the center right christian democrats ruled in an uninterrupted fashion, for better or for worse The book captures the rise of the The book interweaves the economic, political, and societal changes of a 45 period when Italy made the jump from a backward state, where German and allied armies fought and a civil war raged to a modern state with an economy about the same size as Great Britain Italy had the largest neo fascist party in the west and the largest communist party as well Throughout all the center right christian democrats ruled in an uninterrupted fashion, for better or for worse The book captures the rise of the unions and the left flush with confidence in 1968 that their time had come only to disintegrate with the nihilism of the red brigades and the onslaught of globalism Instead of representing the future, they descended into gloom and despair with the realization that history had passed them by.I wish I could find a book picking p the period 1988 to the present

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