Italy since 1945

Italy since 1945

Italy since 1945

Italy since 1945

Synopsis

'... Will be a very welcome addition to the... historical survey available on post-war Italy.' Italy since 1945 sets in context the tremendous changes that Italy has undergone in the last 55 years. In place of the land of pizza, sunshine, and soccer, McCarthy describes a developing nation: an economy that has found its own road to success via the piccole imprese with an increasingly strong stockmarket and more sophisticated banking; a dynamic, traditional, family centred society; and a political system struggling to modernize after forty years of Christian Democrat rule and Communist opposition. McCarthy also looks at the role of the Church, including Pius XII's wartime activities and the 'foreign pope', John-Paul II before finally turning to sport in Italy - the only country to have 3 daily newspapers devoted to the subject. Authoritative, accessible, and absorbing, the book examines modern Italy through the eyes of 10 leading commentators and explores the Italian experience in the wider context of both the nation's past and its wider contemporary European position.

Excerpt

Over the last three decades historians have begun to interpret Europe's past in new ways. In part this reflects changes within Europe itself, the declining importance of the individual European states in an increasingly global world, the moves towards closer political and economic integration amongst the European states, and Europe's rapidly changing relations with the non-European world. It also reflects broader intellectual changes rooted in the experience of the twentieth century that have brought new fields of historical inquiry into prominence and have radically changed the ways in which historians approach the past.

The new Oxford Short History of Europe series, of which this Short History of Italy is part, offers an important and timely opportunity to explore how the histories of the contemporary European national communities are being rewritten. Covering a chronological span from late antiquity to the present, the Oxford Short History of Italy is organized in seven volumes, to which over seventy specialists in different fields and periods of Italian history will contribute. Each volume will provide clear and concise accounts of how each period of Italy's history is currently being redefined, and their collective purpose is to show how an older perspective that reduced Italy's past to the quest of a nation for statehood and independence has now been displaced by different and new perspectives.

The fact that Italy's history has long been dominated by the modern nation-state and its origins simply reflects one particular variant on a pattern evident throughout Europe. When from the eighteenth century onwards Italian writers turned to the past to retrace the origins of their nation and its quest for independent nationhood, they were doing the same as their counterparts elsewhere in Europe. But their search for the nation imposed a periodization on Italy's past that has survived to the present, even if the original intent has been lost or redefined. Focusing their attention on those periods––the middle ages, the Renaissance, the Risorgimento that seemed to anticipate the modern, they carefully averted their gaze from those that did not––the Dark Ages, and the centuries of foreign occupation and conquest after the sack of Rome in 1527.

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