Giuseppe Ferrari and the Italian Revolution

Giuseppe Ferrari and the Italian Revolution

Giuseppe Ferrari and the Italian Revolution

Giuseppe Ferrari and the Italian Revolution


In this first full-length biography of Ferrari, Lovett traces his intellectual development in Milan and describes his twenty years of voluntary exile in Paris. In discussing Ferrari's relationships with French radicals and socialists, Lovett documents the growth of his political consciousness in the 1840s, his gradual commitment to the democratization of European society, and his response to the impact of both the French and Italian revolutions of 1848.

Originally published 1979.


In the last twenty years, Italian historians have produced a body of scholarship on the Italian Revolution of the nineteenth century (the Risorgimento) that compares favorably in its richness, depth, and diversity with the celebrated achievements of the Annales school in France and with the flowering of studies on seventeenth-centuryEngland. Among the most notable aspects of their work have been the rediscovery and interpretation of sources pertaining to the democratic and socialist currents in the Italian Revolution, which had been ignored or slighted by previous generations of historians.

Unfortunately, their work is still largely unknown outside of Italy. The language barrier and also, I believe, our traditional preoccupation with the Great Powers of nineteenth-centuryEurope account for the fact that most historians of modern Europeon this side of the Atlantic are familiar with only one radical leader of the Risorgimento, Giuseppe Mazzini. Only a handful of specialists are aware of those radical currents in the Italian Revolution that flourished alongside, and often in opposition to, both the moderate liberalism of Cavour and the democratic nationalism of Mazzini.

And yet, if we wish to understand the contemporary Italian Left, we should be very much aware of men like Giuseppe Ferrari, Carlo Pisacane, Giuseppe Ricciardi, and other dissidents who stood not only for Italy's independence but also for the radical . . .

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