In this consummate portrait of the Italian people, bestselling author, publisher, journalist, and politician Luigi Barzini delves deeply into the Italian national character, discovering both its great qualities and its imperfections. Barzini is startlingly frank as he examines "the two Italies": the one that created and nurtured such luminaries as ...Read MoreIn this consummate portrait of the Italian people, bestselling author, publisher, journalist, and politician Luigi Barzini delves deeply into the Italian national character, discovering both its great qualities and its imperfections. Barzini is startlingly frank as he examines "the two Italies": the one that created and nurtured such luminaries as Dante Alighieri, St. Thomas of Aquino, and Leonardo da Vinci; the other, feeble and prone to catastrophe, backward in political action if not in thought, "invaded, ravaged, sacked, and humiliated in every century." Deeply ambivalent, Barzini approaches his task with a combination of love, hate, disillusion, and affectionate paternalism, resulting in a completely original, thoughtful, and probing picture of his countrymen.Read Less
Good. 1996-Paperback-Used-Good--Shows some shelf-wear. May contain old price stickers or their residue, inscriptions or dedications from previous owners in first few pages and remainder marks.-. -Hall Street Books proudly ships from Brooklyn, NY. All orders are processed and shipped within 24 business hours, Mon-Fri. Expedited shipping and tracking available within the US. Hall Street's No-Worry guarantee lets you buy with confidence!
Nice book with a clear, concise and non-judgemental view of Italy. There are many books on Italy, unfortunately, a lot of these are written by foreigners whose well-meaning observations are usually pretty extreme (either mundane or spectacular) and often the product of some Summer holiday spent in Tuscany. A lot of his observations remain true and accurate. It takes a good long time for national character to change and a lot of what Barzini described still peeps out from behind modern day Italy. I think that the best way to read this book is not so much with a grain of salt, but rather with a large glass of water (or better yet wine) in order to dilute the author's conclusions a little. To be fair, I DO have some reservations about this book. The main problem is that, having been written in 1964 the text is somewhat dated. But the issues he writes about when looked at as a whole and not dissedted are classic and long-standing.
If you're of italian descent (or interested in it) get the book.
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