A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics: by Paul Ginsburg

By Paul Ginsburg

During this long-awaited e-book (already a huge bestseller in Italy), Ginsborg has created a desirable, refined and definitive account of the way Italy has coped, or didn't cope, with the earlier 20 years. modern Italy strongly mirrors Britain - the nations have approximately an identical volume, inhabitants measurement and GNP - and but they're beautifully various. Ginsborg sees this distinction as so much essentially transparent within the position of the family members and it's the kinfolk that's on the middle of Italian politics and enterprise. somebody wishing to appreciate modern Italy will locate it necessary to have this tremendously beautiful and clever ebook.

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They lived not on the land but in an overgrown village where 80 per cent of the population were like themselves. They were not self-sufficient peasants. Alfio had no stake in the land, no farmhouse of which to be proud, no close relationship with landowner or parish priest. The standard of living of his family was markedly inferior to that of Federico's. If we turn now to the second of Rossi-Doria's types, the 'naked' South, which comprised nine tenths of the agrarian Mezzogiorno, an immediate distinction must be drawn between the plains on the one hand, and the hills and mountains on the other.

The period of Allied occupation of the city, lasting from September 1943 to December 1944, was an unmitigated disaster. Severe bombing of the area near the port had left 200,000 Neapolitans homeless, and in the autumn of 1943 there was very little water and the sewers did not function. With the connivance of many levels of army command, an estimated 60 per cent of merchandise unloaded in the port disappeared on to the black market. 4 per cent of the goods in Naples were available in the form of rations to the population.

The Communists In March 1944 Palmiro Togliatti, the leader of the Italian Communist Party, returned from Moscow to Italy. Togliatti, fifty-one years old in 1944, was the son of a schoolmistress and a petty clerk; he had been with Gramsci in Turin after the First World War, and was one of the founders of the Italian Communist Party in 1921. After the rise of Fascism he had taken refuge in Russia, where he rapidly rose to become the Vice-Secretary of the Comintern. Astute, cautious, cultured and disdainful, Togliatti was a born survivor, a quality that stood him in good stead in the Moscow of the 1930s.

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