The Force of Destiny

The Force of Destiny

A History of Italy Since 1796

Book - 2008
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The first English language book to cover the full scope of modern Italy, from its official birth to today, "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.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
ISBN: 9780618353675
0618353674
Characteristics: xxiii, 652 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

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wyenotgo
Oct 20, 2017

A pretty good reference book, a bit dry but fairly comprehensive, endeavoring to untangle the complexities of Italian history from the time of the Napoleonic invasion until almost the end of the 20th century. It therefore clearly covers a great deal of territory and does so in an even-handed manner, which is no small achievement, given the degree of passionate rivalry, internecine warfare and general skullduggery that characterized much of that period. That said, the high drama of the Risorgimento, the protracted and bitter struggle between the Church and the secular world, the topsy-turvy adventurism of successive Italian regimes leading up to and during the two Great Wars, all of that I believe merited a more colorful and even a light-hearted approach, to capitalize on the sheer outrageousness of many of the players and their adventures. There is surely the stuff of great theater here but the scholarly Duggan seems not to have noticed it.
In a nutshell: Long on facts, short on entertainment.

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