The profound revolution that destroyed the political system that had governed Italy for fifty years stimulated fears of great instability and hopes of a profound renewal. In the intervening time between the first and second editions, both views have revealed themselves as being unrealistic. The Italians patiently went about the complex task of building a new political order without upheaval, without miracles, and without being able to ignore their history.
In this second edition I have added material describing the process and tentative results of the arduous rebuilding of the Italian political and economic order taking account of the disappearance of old political fixtures, the emergence of new forces, and momentous social changes—all within the context of the now all-important European Union. I have also updated the bibliographical essay to inform readers of important new works.
Spencer M. Di Scala