Modern Italy: A Political History

Front Cover
University of Michigan Press, 1997 - History - 534 pages
This history of modern Italy began in March 1861 when Count Camillo Cavour proclaimed a united Italian kingdom with the goal of creating a prosperous, liberal new power in Europe. For a country whose ancient heritage had placed it at the center of western culture, this late entry into nationhood and rapid reach for power would bring frequent crisis. In this fully revised edition of his classic history of the country, Denis Mack Smith provides a complete and engaging narrative of the fate of Italy from Risorgimento to the present.
For sixty years after 1861 Italy was governed by a liberal oligarchy under a parliamentary constitution. Italy chose the winning side in the First World War, but the enormous costs of victory revealed social tensions and constitutional weaknesses that prepared the way, after 1920, for Europe's first fascist dictatorship.
After the painful civil war that followed World War II, Italy rediscovered liberal democracy, and under a new republican regime became one of the major industrialized countries of the world.
First published in 1958 as Italy: A Modern History, the book has been substantially rewritten with a new section on the period after 1945, a new bibliography, new maps, and updated factual appendices. Stylish, clearly written, deeply informed and often controversial, it remains the definitive account for anyone interested in modern Italy.
". . . an extraordinarily good and concise introduction to the scandals that almost destroyed the Italian Republic." --Alexander DeGrand, North Carolina State University
"No one will be surprised that in this new edition Mack Smith recounts the recent history of the Republic up to 1996 with the same shrewd authorial eye, both distant and perceptive, the deep knowledge, and the skill that made the older edition of this book a classic." --Raymond Grew, University of Michigan
Denis Mack Smith is a Fellow of the British Academy and Wolfson College, Oxford, and a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been awarded a dozen literary prizes in Italy and is a Commendatore of the Italian Order of Merit. Among his recent books are Italy and Its Monarchy (1989) and Mazzini (1994).
 

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MODERN ITALY: A Political History

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A magisterial study that will continue to be the benchmark for political histories of modern Italy. Smith (Oxford Univ.) is considered the foremost historian of modern Italy in the English-speaking ... Read full review

Contents

The Geographical Expression
3
The Idea of National Unity
6
Mazzini Garibaldi and the Revolutionaries II
11
Cavour and the Expansion of Piedmont
17
THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SCENE
25
The Constitution the King and Parliament
27
The Social Hierarchy
34
Agriculture and Industry
41
Italy Remains Neutral 1914
255
Intervention Against Austria 1915
260
THE WAR AND ITS AFTERMATH 19151922
269
The Conduct of War 19151918
271
The Peace Settlement 19181920
276
New Political Currents 1919
282
Nitti and the Rape ofFiume 19191920
288
Giolitti and the Suicide of Liberalism 19201921
295

Immediate Political Problems
48
THE FIRST DECADE 18611871
57
Ricasoli Rattazzi and Minghetti 18611865
59
Counterrevolution and Brigandage 18601865
66
The War for Venice 1866
72
Financial and Other Problems 18661867
78
The Capture of Rome
83
THE NATION ASSERTS ITSELF 18701882
93
The Last Years of the Right 18701876
95
Depretis and Transformism 18701880
100
Foreign Policy 18601882
108
Colonial Enterprise 18601882
115
THE TROUBLED PERIOD OF CRISPI 18801893
121
Depretis and Crispi 18801890
123
Irredentism and Nationalist Fervor
129
Agriculture and Industry about 1880
135
The Tariff War with France 18871892
142
Corruption and the Banks 18891893
146
COLONIAL DEFEAT AND POLITICAL REACTION 18931900
155
Social Unrest and Crispis Last Ministry
157
The Ethiopian War and the Eclipse of Crispi
163
Parliamentary Govemment Endangered 18961900
171
Defects in the Constitution
178
GIOLITTI AND LIBERAL REFORM 19001911
189
Liberal Govemment Resumed 19001904
191
Clerical and Radical Cooperation 19041906
200
The Southem Problem and Enugration
206
Economic and Cultural Revival
216
The Last Years of Liberal Refonn 19091911
225
THE ONSET OF
233
The German Alliance 18961911
235
The Libyan War 19111912
241
Giolittis System Collapses 19121914
249
Bonomi and Facta 19211922
302
MUSSOLINIS REVOLUTION 19221925
309
Italy on the Eve Summer 1922
311
The March on Rome October 2630 1922
316
Dictatorship Emerges 19221924
322
The Defeat of Parliament and Press 19241925
329
THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF FASCISM
335
The Machinery and Personnel of Fascism
337
Economic and Social Policy
347
Fascist Doctrine
354
The Standardization of Culture
359
Persecution and Its Effects
367
Surviving Institutions
374
DECLINE AND FALL OF A ROMAN EMPIRE
381
Foreign Policy 19221936
383
Lack of Restraint 19361938
389
The Drift Toward War 19381940
397
Military and Political Defeat 19401943
404
THE TRANSFORMATION OF ITALY 19431969
415
Liberation 19431947
417
Postwar Recovery
425
Constitutional Problems in the 19505
434
A Move to the Left the early 19605
443
ITALIAN DEMOCRACY IN CRISIS
453
Terrorism Corruption and Consociation 19681981
455
The Old Regime Begins to Collapse 19811992
467
Four Attempts at Reform 19921995
479
An Interim Solution 1996
491
PRIME MINISTERS OF ITALY HEADS OF STATE POPES
498
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS IN ENGLISH
501
INDEX
513
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Denis Mack Smith is a Fellow of the British Academy and Wolfson College, Oxford, and a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been awarded a dozen literary prizes in Italy and is a Commendatore of the Italian Order of Merit. Among his recent books are Italy and Its Monarchy (1989) and Mazzini (1994).

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