Author: Harry Hearder
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Italy: A Short History is a concise but comprehensive account of Italian history from the Ice Age to the present day. It is intended for both students of Italian history and culture and the general reader, whether tourist, business-person or traveller, with an interest in Italian affairs. Harry Hearder places the main political developments in Italian history in their economic and social context, and shows how these related to the great moments of artistic and cultural endeavour. Amongst key events, he analyses the growth and decline of the Roman Empire, the remarkable cultural achievements of the Renaissance, Italian unification and the contradictions of the fascist dictatorship of Mussolini. Jonathan Morris brings the work up to the present day with an authoritative but colourful history of the corruption scandals that brought down the post-war Italian political system in the 1990s and the new political forces that have emerged in its place.
Despite the Roman Empire's famous 500-year reign over Europe, parts of Africa and the Middle East, Italy does not have the same long national history as states such as France or England. Divided for much of its history, Italy's regions have been, at various times, parts of bigger, often antagonistic empires, notably those of Spain and Austria. In addition, its challenging and varied terrain made consolidation of political control all the more difficult. This concise history covers, in very readable fashion, the formative events in Italy's past from the rise of Rome, through a unified country in thrall to fascism in the first half of the twentieth century right up to today. The birthplace of the Renaissance and the place where the Baroque was born, Italy has always been a hotbed of culture. Within modern Italy country there is fierce regional pride in the cultures and identities that mark out Tuscany, Rome, Sicily and Venice to name just a few of Italy's many famous regions. Jeremy Black draws on the diaries, memoirs and letters of historic travellers to Italy to gain insight into the passions of its people, first chronologically then regionally. In telling Italy's story, Black examines what it is that has given Italians such cultural clout - from food and drink, music and fashion, to art and architecture - and explores the causes and effects of political events, and the divisions that still exist today.
A Concise History of Italy
Author: Christopher Duggan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Comprehensively updated new edition of Christopher Duggan's acclaimed introduction to the history of Italy.
From the birth of the Roman Empire to the rise of the city-states through the Renaissance and the making of modern Italy, Mary Platt Parmele's A Short History of Italy is a fascinating story of the forces and events that shaped this country.
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The extraordinary creative energy of Renaissance Italy lies at the heart of modern western culture. This creativity extended far beyond the visual arts and architecture: dress history, dance history, food history, ritual and ceremonial all contributed to this vibrant rebirth. Virginia Cox here explores the material and economic output of the period, from the late 13th to the 16th century, when Italy led the world in painting, building, science, literature and music. As the medieval period exploded into a new era of self-confidence, a rediscovery of classical authors and their philosophical principles coincided with the political and economic rise of Florence, especially under the powerful Medici princes, and the later ascendancy of Venice and Rome. But the Renaissance enjoyed a rich regionality beyond these familiar centres. The author thus explores the arts in Milan, Ferrara, Mantua, Urbino and even Naples. She examines too the impact of rhetoric and performance on key texts like Machiavelli’s The Prince and Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier, as well as the role of women, both as patrons of the arts and creative artists in their own right. ‘Renaissance woman’, Cox boldly argues, is as important a legacy as ‘Renaissance man’.
Award-winning lecturer Kenneth R. Bartlett applies his decades of experience teaching the Italian Renaissance to this beautifully illustrated overview. In his introductory Note to the Reader, Bartlett first explains why he chose Jacob Burckhardt's classic narrative to guide students through the complex history of the Renaissance and then provides his own contemporary interpretation of that narrative. Over seventy color illustrations, genealogies of important Renaissance families, eight maps, a list of popes, a timeline of events, a bibliography, and an index are included.
Presents a comprehensive survey of Italian literature from its earliest origins to the present
Dr. Lisa Kaborycha's A Short History of Renaissance Italy is based on a thorough knowledge of current literature and the controversies among scholars over the interpretation of this epoch. She analyzes the tension between continuity and change in these centuries, from the ravages of the Black Death in the 1340s, to the revival in the fifteenth century, and the dramatic consequences of the foreign invasions after 1494. The author integrates every significant feature of this era, from climate and geography to politics, the economy, and religion and culture. This book is an exemplary narrative and analysis of a major chapter in the history of Western Civilization.---Gene A. Brucker, Author of Renaissance Florence
The Richness and the Fragility of Italy's Humanised Environment This book, a translation of the author's original Italian Breve Storia dell'Ambiente in Italia (Il Mulino, 2015) aims to bring together the general lines of interpretation of Italian environmental history from the decades prior to national unification to the present day, laying foundations for the writing of national history from an environmental history perspective. The volume reconstructs processes of change in the use of natural resources in Italy, and the associated environmental and social consequences. The use in historical analysis of a polysemic concept such as 'environment' expresses the deep synergies in the history of Italy that have tied together nature and human activities, ecological and socio-economic issues. The ancient roots of settlement, early anthropisation by past civilisations and historical features of the processes of transformation of rural and agricultural landscapes to which large areas of the peninsula have been subject impose a historical reconstruction in which changes in the use of natural resources are closely intertwined with changes in the territory considered as a natural historical context, built and humanised. Furthermore, corollary to the great richness and variety of nature and landscape, the artistic and archaeological sites, agriculture, gastronomy and oenology, that have 'supported' the country in its rise to global political significance, is vulnerability in terms of geological fragility, hydrographic system and seismicity. The book aims to understand how Italy as a unitary state has ruled the balance of an area overwhelmed by the impact of an economic development model characterised by high consumption of natural resources and energy. With this in mind, an important focus of consideration is the relevance of public policies, and the relationship between policy-makers and the knowledge experts that influence them. The book is divided into four parts, corresponding to four pivotal moments: the decades before national unification and the global factors at work; the end of the nineteenth century, when economic take-off combined with a hygienic revolution; the effects of Italian transition from a rural to a highly industrialised country in the decades after the second world war; and the 1980s in which laissez-faire capitalism and the acceleration of destructive processes co-existed with the growth of environmentalism and public environmental awareness. The chronological division is accompanied by a focus on topics, including: the effects of global changes and the role of structural characters; the repercussions for environmental equilibrium of 'commons' disintegration and the triumph of property rights; the impact of industrialisation and the hygienic revolution; the transition from renewable to non-renewable energies; nature protection, from the first movement to political environmentalism; the acceleration of soil consumption and of hydrogeological instability; the destructive modality of the expansion of metropolitan areas; the effects of agricultural modernisation, consumer society and the waste problem; the growth of ecomafias and environmental crimes.
In this long-awaited book (already a major bestseller in Italy) Ginsborg has created a fascinating, sophisticated and definitive account of how Italy has coped, or failed to cope, with the past two decades. Contemporary Italy strongly mirrors Britain - the countries have roughly the same extent, population size and GNP - and yet they are fantastically different. Ginsborg sees this difference as most fundamentally clear in the role of the family and it is the family which is at the heart of Italian politics and business. Anyone wishing to understand contemporary Italy will find it essential to have this enormously attractive and intelligent book.
Series: Short Oxford History of Italy