Italy and its Discontents 1980-2001: Family, Civil Society, State

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9780140247947: Italy and its Discontents 1980-2001: Family, Civil Society, State

In this long-awaited book (already a major bestseller in Italy) Ginsborg has created a fascinating, sophisticated and definitive account of how Italy has coped, or failed to cope, with the past two decades. Contemporary Italy strongly mirrors Britain - the countries have roughly the same extent, population size and GNP - and yet they are fantastically different. Ginsborg sees this difference as most fundamentally clear in the role of the family and it is the family which is at the heart of Italian politics and business. Anyone wishing to understand contemporary Italy will find it essential to have this enormously attractive and intelligent book.

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Review:

It's easy to misinterpret or over-simplify the social, political and economic history of contemporary Italy. Too many of the events of the last twenty years seem designed to coincide with (and confirm) stereotyped images of the country. Administrative chaos and corruption revealed in the "Tangentopoli" scandals of the 90s. Mafia wars, assassinations and organised crime. Unpredictable and crisis-ridden government culminating in the emergence of Silvio Berlusconi as a political force.

In Italy and Its Discontents Paul Ginsborg avoids easy answers to difficult questions. He aims to provide a coherent analysis of contemporary Italy and he does so by structuring his book around the continuing importance of the family in Italian society. Both as reality and as metaphor the family is shown still to be at the heart of any understanding of the country. Family-run businesses dominate the economy, family contacts are used to deal with the twists and turns of the bureaucracy, political parties and the Catholic church alike continue to use the language of family in their propaganda. Ginsborg marshals an impressive array of detail and fact to support his subtle and intelligent interpretations of the last 20 years of Italian history. His book can sometimes seem dry and even (at times) forbiddingly academic, but for anyone looking to know more about the real rather than the stereotypical Italy of the last twenty years, it is essential reading. --Nick Rennison

Review:

"A valuable reference for anyone studying or teaching Italian and European politics and society."--W.R. Smith, Choice ."..excellent..."-Alexander Stille, New York Review of Books."..the book is useful and even entertaining."--Laura Collura Kahn, New York Sun ."..his book is valuable...usefully traces the phenomenon of Silvio Berlusconi."--David I. Fulton, Library Journal ."..Complex and fertile with 'thick description', [the book] radiates the paradoxes and ironies that abound in a troubled country."--The New York Times Book Review .".it offers a complete portrayal of the textures of Italian society."--"Publishers Weekly" ""Italy and its Discontents "is a tour-de force. Anyone concerned about the condition of the country will find it packed with material to think about and argue over"--"The Economist"

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Ginsborg, Paul
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2003)
ISBN 10: 0140247947 ISBN 13: 9780140247947
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this long-awaited book (already a major bestseller in Italy) Ginsborg has created a fascinating, sophisticated and definitive account of how Italy has coped, or failed to cope, with the past two decades. Contemporary Italy strongly mirrors Britain - the countries have roughly the same extent, population size and GNP - and yet they are fantastically different. Ginsborg sees this difference as most fundamentally clear in the role of the family and it is the family which is at the heart of Italian politics and business. Anyone wishing to understand contemporary Italy will find it essential to have this enormously attractive and intelligent book. Bookseller Inventory # AAW9780140247947

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Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2003)
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this long-awaited book (already a major bestseller in Italy) Ginsborg has created a fascinating, sophisticated and definitive account of how Italy has coped, or failed to cope, with the past two decades. Contemporary Italy strongly mirrors Britain - the countries have roughly the same extent, population size and GNP - and yet they are fantastically different. Ginsborg sees this difference as most fundamentally clear in the role of the family and it is the family which is at the heart of Italian politics and business. Anyone wishing to understand contemporary Italy will find it essential to have this enormously attractive and intelligent book. Bookseller Inventory # AAW9780140247947

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