This book benefited from critical readings by several top scholars in the field of Italian history whom I wish to acknowledge here. Alexander Grab, Antonio Landolfi, James Burgwyn, Alan Reinerman, Richard Drake, and Frank Coppa read the parts of the manuscript in which they are most expert. Alexander De Grand had the ungrateful job of reading the entire work chapter by chapter as it was being written and of proposing alterations during the heat of composition. The book is stronger because of his prompting. Corresponding to Alex De Grand’s role at the beginning, Philip Cannistraro read the completed manuscript. His series of insightful suggestions, which I incorporated, allowed me to produce a much better final version than would otherwise have been the case.
Besides benefiting from the expertise of those reading the manuscript, I profited from discussions with colleagues such as Luciano Pellicani and Giorgio Spini on various topics relating to Italian history. My talks with Roberto Falaschi, Consul General of Italy for New England, on even the most exotic aspects of Italian affairs proved extremely stimulating. I also wish to thank Alfredo Molinari, science attaché at the Boston consulate, for sharing with me his very illuminating views on the development of Italian science, an area to which I have devoted some attention in this book. I also wish to thank Peter Kracht, senior editor at Westview Press, for the stimulating conversation on a snowy spring day during which this book was conceived and for his continued encouragement and support.
Like history itself, the writing of a book links the past, present, and future. My late parents, Antonio and Nancy Di Scala, stimulated in me a love of the subject. I thank my wife, Laura Clerici Di Scala, for creating an environment conducive to writing and for her wise suggestions on the text itself during the various stages of composition. To my daughter, Ashley, to whom this book is dedicated, I wish a continued blossoming of the kind that has amazed her parents during her young life. I hope that this book will make a contribution to the intellectual growth of all students of history, and when Ashley grows up, to hers as well.
S. M. D.