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Italy's art music literature and architecture with its economic and social realities and political development to tell this extraordinary European story The first English language book to cover the full scope of modern Italy from its origins than two hundred years ago to the present The Force of Destiny is a brilliant and comprehensive study and a frightening example of how easily nation building and nationalism can slip toward authoritarianism and war If you want to know what events led to the modern Italian state thi Aromatherapy and the Mind realities and political development to tell this extraordinary European story The first English language book to cover the full scope of modern Italy from its origins than two hundred years ago to the present The Force of Destiny is a brilliant and comprehensive study and a frightening example of how easily nation building and nationalism can slip toward authoritarianism and war If you want to know what events led to the modern Italian state thi

free read The Force of Destiny A History of Italy Since 1796

The Force of Destiny A History of Italy Since 1796

A sweeping first of its kind history of the creation of modern ItalyThe birth of modern Italy was a messy affair Inspired by a small group of writers intellectuals and politicians Italy struggled in the first half of the nineteenth century to unite all Italians under one rule throwing aside a multitude of corrupt old rulers and foreign occupiers In the midst of this turmoil Italian politicians felt compelled by a “force of destiny” hideously at odds Don't normally read Non Fiction but this provided a good background Practical Prinkery rule throwing aside a multitude of corrupt old Outside the Paint rulers and foreign occupiers In the midst of this turmoil Italian politicians felt compelled by a “force of destiny” hideously at odds Don't normally The Problem of the Puer Aeternus (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 87) read Non Fiction but this provided a good background

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With Italian reality After great sacrifice Italy was finally unified and turned out to be just as fragile impoverished and backward as it had been before The resentments this created led to Italy’s destructive role in World War I the subseuent rise of Mussolini and authoritarianism in the 1920s and ’30s and the nation's humiliating defeat in World War II This haunting legacy deeply informs the Italy of todayChristopher Duggan skillfully interweaves History may repeat itself but modern Italian history does seem unus


10 thoughts on “The Force of Destiny A History of Italy Since 1796

  1. says:

    In many cases I'm not a big fan of post modernist methods of relaying history A strict linear recounting of facts can get tedious to be sure but all the claptrap of myth and narrative involved in post modernism can make a reader lose the sense of what happened and when Duggan is one of the few historians I have read who can combine linear and post modern methods and come up with a viable readable and interesting book He uses a strict linear historical method when necessary but also asks the uestion Why did the Italian people like Garibaldi? Why did they find a lying thug like Francesco Crispi useful in the Versailles era? And of course the answers to those uestions show us why someone like Mussolini could come to power and why Italians could elect re elect and re elect a clown like Berlusconi This is not the ultimate book to provide a history of the fascist years or a history of modern Italy spanning the Red Brigades years to the Berlusconi clown time Instead it is a sweeping view of myths and attitudes toward nationalism in Italy covering the years from the House of Savoy in the 19th century to the decline and fall of Berlusconi The book is written with a charming sense of humor and a master's touch for the turn of a phrase


  2. says:

    The Force of Destiny A History of Italy Since 1796 by Christopher Duggan is a history of Italy around the time of its independence up until the present The history often focuses on the literary and social aspects that many political events in the country sparked This work can be suarely defined as a post modern history First I will talk about the good This book does have some highly engaging content with interesting anecdotes from local peoples authors and political figures that existed through Italy's tumultuous history since 1796 For example the author euates scenes from Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio to Italian moral ineptitude The work is dotted with references like Pinocchio which can provide an interesting background to the historical analysis I was particularly impressed however with the uality of information on Italy's political climate Much of Italy's history has been dominated by political factionalism related to a strong sense of regional identity municipalism and the subseuent upheaval this has played in Italy's development with it's NorthSouth split or the characteristics of it's political landscape is fascinatingHowever there are many low points in this narrative For one the post modernist aspect of this history often detracts from the history itself An uneducated reader may have difficulty understanding the shift in events because they are barely mentioned at all For example the Occupation of Fiume in 1919 played an important part in Italian Fascist ideology and was a symbol of Italy's growing militarization This is all explained in detail but the annexation of Fiume in 1924 and the critical years that an independent Fiume played between 1919 1924 in Italy's international relationships with the UK and USA are not mentioned The annexation itself is only mentioned in parenthesis in less than a sentence Issues like these persist throughout the book The history is often sidelined for the analysis and this is a clear weakness in Duggan's work I would have found the development of Italy and the political social and economic conseuences of unification and subseuent historical events interesting if they were explained in any detail Instead tangent analysis often occurs and although some of these tangents are interesting they almost entirely focus on the ideological stance of Italy's current political climate and nothing else In all I would say this is a middling history in my opinion It focuses far too much on historical analysis which may or may not be coloured with the authors own prejudices and ideological viewpoints and far too little on the actual historical events in Italy since 1796 I would hesitantly recommend this book to those who have a background in Italian history or who know a lot of the background facts In this case the analysis may be refreshing If you are looking for a book to learn about Italian history however this one may be a skip


  3. says:

    Don't normally read Non Fiction but this provided a good background on the history of Italy and relevant to my Foundation Degree Course If you wanted to learn about the history of the state of the country since 1796 I'd recommend reading this


  4. says:

    An insightful record of Italy’s modern history and search for identity Although the Italian peninsula dominated politics and culture during the Roman Empire and Etruscan periods and experienced a resurgence of art and intellectualism during the Renaissance the entire region was subject to foreign invasion and subjugation Italy as a concept let alone a nation did not exist until 1861 with the Risorgimento Previously the peninsula was of a geographical expression composed of city states largely under French or Austrian rulership at the time of Napoleon's invasion The peoples identified with their area which is clearly expressed by the use of dialect; a standardized usage of Italian was not determined until the Risorgimento This book traces the difficulties and challenges of unification and nationhood divisions between North and South leadership the Church the monarchy dictatorship world and civil war the mafia and party divisions Italy continues to struggle to this day with debt and corruption If you want to deepen your understanding of a culture and its people this is a rewarding and rich examination


  5. says:

    History may repeat itself but modern Italian history does seem unusually uniue Its union was nothing like that of Germany and its split north south nothing like that of the United States Duggan does a good job of drawing out these things


  6. says:

    This excellent book is not so much a history of Italy as it is a history of the nation of Italy As Christopher Duggan demonstrates Italian nationalism was confined to a few intellectuals artists and professionals with regional identities predominant among the rest of the population As a result unification was superficial for much of the populace who often found themselves at odds with the liberal state and forced to choose between this artificial link and their much deeper seated loyalty to the Catholic Church This approach helps make the appeal of Fascism much understandable with Duggan's analysis of this period one of the strongest points of this book In the end the reader is left with a deeper understanding of the problems Italy faces today and perhaps as well a skepticism about the ability of Italians to address them in the future


  7. says:

    If you want to know what events led to the modern Italian state this is the book for you A scholarly but readable text some close reading reuired but well worth it


  8. says:

    Christopher Duggan died at only 57 and while that is tragic for all the usual reasons his contribution to the literature of modern Italian history is nevertheless immense This culminated in his masterful 2007 synthesis 'The Force of Destiny A History of Italy Since 1796'There is rather to that subtitle than may at first appear With a comparable book such as Jonathan Fenby's 'The History of Modern France' there is at least a tacit assumption that say 'France' is a noun with some coherent meaning and substantive basis Not only can no such assumption be made here but in fact exploring the conceptual problem of 'Italy' is the central thesis and driving force of the book It is freuently highlighted that despite the process of 'material unification' culminating in 1860 the 'moral unification' reuired for nationhood proved elusive De Gaulle may famously have had 'a certain idea of France' but there have been too many ideas of Italy for any lasting consensus to have been reachedWhether by accident or design Duggan implicitly comes out against the 'Great Man' theory of history This is not to say there are no 'Great Men' in the text as it is full of them from Joachim Murat to Silvio Berlusconi and the whole rogue's gallery in between But the overall impression is that there are forces at work or rather resistance to forces in the Italian character upon which even decades of exertion by Mazzini d'Azeglio Cavour Garibaldi Crispi Giolitti D'Annunzio Mussolini and their ilk can only make the most transitory of impressions This is not so much the force of destiny as the inertia of immutabilityThus Duggan provides a solid grounding in some of the many divisions and forces which have served to despoil unity There is the broad north south divide the narrower parochialism of city states such as Modena and regions such as Sicily the mutually incomprehensible dialects the competing claims to hearts and minds of Catholicism with at different times socialism Liberalism fascism communism consumerist capitalism and 'Christian Democracy'Then there are the numerous complexities surrounding the Papacy and the Papal States and their interactions with various regimes We also look at the complexities around defining 'mafiosi' and 'the mafia' and determining its historical role whether as a pattern of culturally endorsed behaviour an abstract concept a convenient scapegoat or a discrete hierarchical organisation And of course there are the usual difficulties of interpretation surrounding resistance fighters anarchists and terroristsCulture from high art to mass media is important and sometimes in counter intuitive ways Duggan explains how Italy's world class artistic and intellectual achievements were often seen as obstacles to 'moral unity' and as symptomatic of the ineffectual personalities of a people chronically incapable of the sacrificial mindset reuired of nationalismIt's doubtful that another author will attempt a second edition of this book and therefore it will inevitably reuire supplementing as time marches on one wonders what Paul Ginsborg's opinions on the matter may be Nevertheless it will not soon be surpassed as a summary of over two centuries of Italy's painful struggles to achieve modern nationhood


  9. says:

    Duggan isn't so good on post WW2 Italian history but he covers the period from 1796 1945 some 540 pages of this 600pg book exceptionally well As a one volume history of Italy you can't go wrong with this book Fantastically well written incisive analysis a thorough examination of the source material and a fine introduction to the wide array of problems that have plagued and continue to plague Italian society


  10. says:

    The Force of Destiny is not a history of Italy it is rather a history of the idea of Italy as held by the political and cultural elites of the region Facts about the region which was unified into the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 are only alluded to when it is necessary to explain a change in this idea Duggan writes in his preface This book ceases to examine how under the impact of the Napoleon invasion and the mixture of their optimism and resentment that this engendered an initially small group of men and women began to promote the idea of an Italian nationWhat results from this objective is a book of great pleasure for those Anglo Saxons who periodically treat themselves to a Italian culture Duggan explains the historical significance of Verdi Mascagni Manzoni D'Annunzio Marinetti Boccioni De Sica and Fellini to this English speaking readers He even provides a very brilliant analysis of Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio As an undergraduate this book which lacks any economic demographic or sociologic analysis would have made me purple with rage As a retired person who loves to go to the opera I enjoyed it immenselyThe problem with the book is that Duggan seems to feel that the world ended when Mussolini died He states The approach the country's problems of the generation of the Risorgimento retained a powerful allure long after unification in 1860 It reached its apogee with fascism Duggan seems to feel that after the fall of Fascism Italy became simply a banal social democracy led by politicians obsessed with the material well being of the population Thus only 60 pages are devoted to the period from 1946 to 2008 In contrast Mussolini's two decades get 120 pages Mussolini after all was poet with a vision Those that have followed him have been prosaic in the extremeWhatever its faults The Force of Destiny is guaranteed to please fans of Italian opera futurist art and neorealsimo cinema If you are one then read this book


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