The Romans are understandably dealt with within the scope of a few pages (something had to give) and the early chapters pass by briskly before the post-unification meat - clearly Gilmour's main preoccupation even if the medieval chapters are critical in emphasizing that Italy is above all a loose collection of distinct regions and an uneasy whole. THE PURSUIT OF ITALY by David GilmourKirkus Book Reviews. The historian David Gilmour argues that the 1861 unification of Italy was a mistake. Gilmour is himself a British journalist who has worked internationally but also covered Italy at various times, for this book it seems like he dedicated some years of living and studying in Italy, in it's different regions. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30 (480p) ISBN 978-0-374-28316-2. The Italy portrayed by this book is an Italy doomed to fail in its pursuits. I've tracked down an article so I can learn more about this well hidden history: A great primer on the history of Italy, from pre-Roman times to the era of Berlusconi. To bolster his thesis he introduces the reader to a wealth of famous figures, beautifully delineated historical moments, and slice-of-life, human-interest stories. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. . Monday, 27 June 2011 Share. . This is very much a personal view of the history of Italy, and while that makes it a lively read, it is not an objective one, indeed, it is a book written with the intention of debunking national myths about the country and arguing that not only was Italian unification in 1859-61 to 1870 an unnecessary and non-determinate process, but also it was a negative one for the peoples of the new state, particularly those of the south. He calls events and processes precisely by their correct names and not just recites glorious titles. He often sounds more like a gossiping friend than an academic, which definitely adds to the readability and the thrill factor. Ever since the Risorgimento, there has been debate about whether the unification of Italy of 1860-61 was a 'a good thing.' With The Pursuit of Italy, David Gilmour has provided a coherent, persuasive, and entertain­ing interpretation of the paradoxes of Italian life, past and present. Having visited the picturesque and seemingly well preserved medieval town of San Gimignano in Tuscany several times, I could not have been more surprised to learn from the author that it was restored during the fascist period. Blind spots a mile wide and contradictions a mile long. Fiction. If he had not invaded Sicily and Naples, we in the north would have the richest and m, Visiting a villa built by Lorenzo de Medici outside Pisa, David Gilmour fell into conversation about the unification of Italy with a distinguished former minister: ''You know, Davide,' he said in a low conspiratorial voice, as if uttering a heresy, 'Garibaldi did Italy a great disservice. It gave fascinating insight into the different forces that pulled at the people and the land and that continue to divide Italy today. Christopher Hirst. The book is born not of professional or academic interest but of personal interest, and reads at a good pace, with sufficient historical and political context but not so much detail that it makes the text rigid (as I found with Christ duggans otherwise authoritative political history) and rather with a lot of colour and anecdote. THE PURSUIT OF ITALY by David GilmourKirkus Book Reviews Read the Kirkus Review of THE PURSUIT OF ITALY A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples. A historical book as it should be. I think it is worth reading by Italians themselves too. After quoting Napoleon on the excessive length of the country, Gilmour properly points out that Italy is really - and always has been - a "country" of its regions and communes, and that it is too much to expect the average Italian to place his primary loyalty to the modern Italian nation/state, with its many shortcomings. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples. Unification was "a sin against history and geography," as Gilmour often quotes. While this might actually be an accurate representation of Italy's progress towards building a nation, the sole focus on political and military action made me skim over many pages. . Jim Reviews: The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions, and Their Peoples – David Gilmour. As Gilmour notes, "[Berlusconi] appealed to many men because they thought that...all his pleasures were their pleasures, especially those connected with football, sex, and making money.” Ultimately, Gilmour finds redemption to modern Italian life by glorifying the idea of campanillismo, or dedication to one's hometown, its simple life, and familial connections. This book describes the very complex history of Italy with a focus on why any region such as Tuscany, Sicily or Veneto could compete with the whole world but when combined as a single 'country' things don't work very well. Visiting a villa built by Lorenzo de Medici outside Pisa, David Gilmour fell into conversation about the unification of Italy with a distinguished former minister: ''You know, Davide,' he said in a low conspiratorial voice, as if uttering a heresy, 'Garibaldi did Italy a great disservice. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. A historical book as it should be. A claptrap of names and dates, hastily thrown together with no narrative or through line guiding any of it. The B&N Podcast: Holly Jackson on A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, The B&N Podcast: Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, The B&N Podcast: Jeanine Cummins on American Dirt, Abigail Hing Wen on How One Summer Can Change a Lifetime, The B&N Podcast: Ann Napolitano on our January Book Club Selection, Still Good to Him: Robert Christgau on a Life of Writing about Listening, A Year in Reading: A Reviewer’s Favorites from 2019, The B&N Podcast: Alice Hoffman on the Stories We Need to Survive, American Science Fiction: Eight Classic Novels of the 1960s, The B&N Podcast: Charlie Mackesy on our Book of the Year, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List. There were wars and competition and money and art to be made. In light of the earlier. Visiting a villa built by Lorenzo de Medici outside Pisa, David Gilmour fell into conversation about the unification of Italy with a distinguished former minister: ''You know, Davide,' he said in a low conspiratorial voice, as if uttering a heresy, 'Garibaldi did Italy a great disservice. Despite attempts at national unity, from the territorial conquests of the medieval period to the Risorgimento, Italians continued to feel disconnected from each other. The Pursuit of Italy - A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples - By David Gilmour - Book Review - NYTimes.com. Upon finishing up this book, Italy is now awaiting for a new government, presumably a coalition one due to fragmented party system as usual. Anyone attempting to write a compact history of a place like Italy, covering a time period of 3000 years and doing a decent job already deserves a medal. As much as I want to believe him, this tome has certainly jaded my glossy-eyed view of Italy as the flower of the Renaissance and height of enlightened living. Jim Riordan / March 5, 2018. Article bookmarked. The basic thesis is that the Risorgimento (when Italy became one nation instead of a collection of various countries' possessions) emphasized Italian nationalism as opposed to local culture on the peninsula, and this opened the doors to Mussolini and the Fascists. . The Literary Review Jonathan Keates British historian Gilmour ( The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj , 2006, etc.) ROME: A Cultural, Visual and Personal History by Robert Hughes. I think it is worth reading by Italians themselves too. byJames Mustich / October 24, 2011 Share. The Pursuit of Italy. And the author is fairly patronizing toward his subject. [The Pursuit of Italy] has the same tonic, exhilarating impact as the thigh-slapping overture to a Verdi opera.” ―Jonathan Keates, The Literary Review. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples at Amazon.com. Zero pizzazz or elan that can be found in other histories where the past sings and dances for the reader, becoming, for a moment while reading, the present. You’ll see how trivial skirmishes and untalented commanders are raised on marble pedestals and positioned in the central places of cities and kids’ textbooks. -Ian Thomson, Evening Standard, Praise For The Pursuit Of Italy "Amazingly compendious . Gilmour's Pursuit of Italy is a fine summary of the historical regionalism and effects of that regionalism on Modern Italy. In light of the earlier chapters, however, they do provide context for the puzzling nature of Italian governance. A rather entertaining account of Italian history throughout the ages. David Gilmour doesn't hit it out of the park but without his book, my understanding of Italian history would certainly be a lot poorer. Refresh and try again. Review of Gilmour, David, The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples. [ The Pursuit of Italy ] has the same tonic, exhilarating impact as the thigh-slapping overture to a Verdi opera." Historian David Gilmour takes a revisionist view of the past two centuries when he argues in this new volume that the unification of Italy was a mistake, a yoking-together of many disparate strains never meant to huddle under one national umbrella. Historian David Gilmour takes a revisionist view of the past two centuries when he argues in this new volume that the unification of Italy was a mistake, a yoking-together of many disparate strains never meant to huddle under one national umbrella. David Gilmour has done all of us a great service in the writing of this readable, entertaining and yet serious history of Italy. Start by marking “The Pursuit of Italy” as Want to Read: Error rating book. declares there's no such thing as Italy. James Mustich is the author of the new book 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List.A veteran bookseller, he was a founder, and for twenty years publisher, of the book catalogue A Common Reader, and later the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Barnes & Noble Review. The Pursuit of Italy traces the whole history of the Italian peninsula in a wonderfully readable style, full of well-chosen stories and observations from personal experience, and peopled by many of the great figures of the Italian past, from Cicero and Virgil to Dante and the Medici, from Cavour and Verdi to the controversial political figures of the twentieth century. The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples Audible Audiobook – Unabridged David Gilmour (Author), Napoleon Ryan (Narrator), Tantor Audio (Publisher) 4.2 out of 5 stars 181 ratings See all formats and editions Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published 168 reviews. He. Gilmour is himself a British journalist who has worked internationally but also covered Italy at various times, for this book it seems like he dedicated some years of living and studying in Italy, in it's different regions. I wish the author wrote similar books on histories of other controversial states like mine (Russia), where so much glazing was put on so many historical figures that they actually sainted XVIII century admiral Feodor Ushakov as recently as in 2000s, never mind his actual temporal achievements. Subtitle: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples . I would especially recommend this book if Italy is your destination. You see real people, not lacquered and embellished saints or demonized beastly villains. British historian Gilmour (The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj, 2006, etc.) 2011 The Pursuit of Italy : A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples by David Gilmour (2017, Compact Disc, Unabridged edition) Be the first to write a review About this product Brand new: lowest price David Gilmour's The Pursuit of Italy is by no means the first or last word on this question, but it usefully adds to the conversation. With The Pursuit of Italy, David Gilmour has provided a coherent, ... LibraryThing Review User Review - messpots - LibraryThing. The book is born not of professional or academic interest but of personal interest, and reads at a good pace, with sufficient historical and po. Zero pizzazz or elan that can be found in other histories where the past sings and dances for the reader, becoming, for a moment while reading, the present. Achetez neuf ou d'occasion A hard-hitting biography of a beloved if often troubled country. Mystery/Thriller. I could not put it down, finding it engaging and amusing, while still bringing up many one-off (maybe two-off) bits of analysis and perceptions of Italy that make this such a … David Gilmour has done all of us a great service in the writing of this readable, entertaining and yet serious history of Italy. This work is expansive and at times overbearing, but nearly always entertaining. Especially poignant are his chapters on Risorgimento and Mussolini years. British historian Gilmour (The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj, 2006, etc.) Gilmour makes a consistent and convincing case that Italy is largely a collection of independent-minded towns and provinces. I was truly sorry when I finished this book. Seriously left pondering not the book's content but its mere existence. British historian Gilmour (The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj, 2006, etc.) He calls events and processes precisely by their correct names and not just recites glorious titles. The best one-volume history of Italy now available . this is a pretty gripping account of the chimera that is (and always has been) Italy, which is seemingly scathing of almost everything it comes across - people (especially politicians and leaders), even the food (although he does preface with a clarification of his position on polenta). [The Pursuit of Italy] has the same tonic, exhilarating impact as the thigh-slapping overture to a Verdi opera.” ―Jonathan Keates, The Literary Review “[The Pursuit of Italy has] a freshness and readability often lacking in more laborious histories, an attractiveness reinforced by the quality of the writing, which is versatile and vivid and frequently witty, able to encompass both densely factual material and … For a complete beginner on Italian history this is probably the book to read. That Gabriele Muccino is a great story teller shows the way he has presented the story of his movie 'the Pursuit of Happyness' in a very subtle way. The decentralization that followed the fall of the Roman Empire resulted many entities: friendly, competitive, combative and intermarried entities. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. I was delighted with the first part of the book, covering the earlier history of the landmass that is now Italy and its diverse population and culture. I planned to read this book during our holiday in Tuscany, Italy. Noté /5. Select Your Cookie Preferences. The pursuit of Italy : a history of a land, its regions, and their peoples. declares there’s no such thing as Italy.Or rather, he argues in this idiosyncratic text, the 19th-century unification of the Italian peninsula into a single nation ignored the reality of its distinct city-states and regions with long separate histories and little in common. Reviews In the Press. The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples David Gilmour. - Kirkus Reviews . I particularly liked the discussion on the unification of Italy in the 19th centuries. Not as good as Hughes on Rome, but a very good, succinct and clear history of Italy from Pre-Roman times through Berlusconi. Italy's strength and culture still come from its regions rather than from its misconceived, mishandled notion of a unified nation. It’s not a typical book of fables fed to adult kids, it’s a serious conversation that invites you to think. It is a very balanced account of country’s history and a very fair assessment of its key figures and events. It's very engaging and explains the course of Italian history in a way of interest that many people could enjoy. [The Pursuit of Italy] has the same tonic, exhilarating impact as the thigh-slapping overture to a Verdi opera.” ―Jonathan Keates, The Literary Review “[The Pursuit of Italy has] a freshness and readability often lacking in more laborious histories, an attractiveness reinforced by the quality of the writing, which is versatile and vivid and frequently witty, able to encompass both densely factual material and … Did Gilmour black mail someone at Farrar, Straus and Giroux? THE PURSUIT OF ITALY by David GilmourKirkus Book Reviews If one can use the word restore to describe their agenda of promoting the country's medieval heritage for political purposes while attempting to remove all things Baroque. I'm surprised at the negative reviews at this site. I just have to share my astonishment at one fact I learned in reading this book. Mess of a book. I'd heard things like that before, but Gilmour delivers an impressive, fact-filled argument that has me thinking he and others like him are right. An excellent book, wide ranging and also well written. History Review: The Pursuit Of Italy, by David Gilmour Funny story written by Ellis Ian Fields. [Evans] writes with admirable narrative power and possesses a wonderful eye for local color . After quoting Napoleon on the excessive length of the country, Gilmour properly points out that Italy is really - and always has been - a "country" of its regions and communes, and that it is too much to expect the average Italian to place his primary loyalty to the modern Italian nation/state, with its many shortcomings. 0 comments. The book helped to appreciate the various Risorgimento museums and the beautiful renaissance bulwa. - The New York Times . It was well-timed and added to the experience. From outer space Italy looks more like a country than any of its neighbours, but Metternich's jibe that it was purely a geographical expression. Italy's strength and culture still come from its regions rather than from its misconceived, mishandled notion of a unified nation. It included many historical over views but jumped around in time and geography. The seemingly different thing could be that an anti-establishment five-star movement could come into power, yet the cracking up of old party rivalries did already happen in Italy before, when Berlusconi became prime minister due to a series of scandals of ruling party Christian Democrat and the ever-losing appeal of Communist party after the dissolve of USS. How any self-respecting nation could ever elect a man like Berlusconi might be the greatest argument against Italy as a functioning state. He is very much inspired by the neorealist movies of Italy like Bicycle Thieves which, according to him, has certain amount of similarity with Gardner's story (Billington, 2008). This book surveys the long and complex history of Italy. I quickly lost interest, mainly because Gilmour's narrative became strangely. Gilmour is a great storyteller, tying together many threads and keeping it comlex and simple at the same time. Gilmour makes a consistent and convincing case that Italy is largely a collection of independent-minded towns and provinces. David Gilmour argues that it was not. Reviews. Oddly organized, and the sentence structure often is so jumbled that it destroys any flow. Read the Kirkus Review of THE PURSUIT OF ITALY A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples. Nor is his book a collection of iconoclastic provocations. Italy's strength and culture still come from its regions rather than from its misconceived, mishandled notion of a unified nation. This book provides a clear and relatively brief history of the Italian peninsula through the recent present of the premiership of Silvio Berlusconi. With The Pursuit of Italy, David Gilmour has provided a coherent, persuasive, and entertain­ing interpretation of the paradoxes of Italian life, past and present. He often sounds more like a gossiping friend than an academic, which definitely adds to the readability and the thrill factor. A certain character could be a hero though, but that doesn’t necessarily imply you should worship him or that he lived a flawless life of conviction. . This book surveys the long and complex history of Italy. . The basic thesis is that the Risorgimento (when Italy became one nation instead of a collection of various countries' possessions) emphasized Italian nationalism as opposed to local culture on the peninsula, and this opened the doors to Mussolini and the Fascists. Gilmour is a great storyteller, tying together many threads and keeping it comlex and simple at the same time. ), “When intellectuals accept stereotypes, it is not surprising that other people do the same.”, “the central Apennines were inhabited by Umbrians, Sabines, Volscians and Samnites,”, See 1 question about The Pursuit of Italy…, Goodreads Members Suggest: 32 ‘Vacation’ Reads. [The Pursuit of Italy] has the same tonic, exhilarating impact as the thigh-slapping overture to a Verdi opera.” ---Jonathan Keates, The Literary Review “[A] well-researched and engaging canter through the peninsula's history.” ---Peter Popham, The Independent If one can use the word restore to describe their agenda of promoting the country's medieval heritage for political purposes while attempting to remove all. . About the Writer James Mustich. Take a riveting tour of the Italian peninsula, from the glittering canals of Venice to the lavish papal apartments and ancient ruins of Rome. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. He especially assiduous in revealing the shotgun wedding aspects of the Risorgimento that unified the country, and of the dubiousness of the characters who carried it out (with the honorable exception of Garibaldi). This was weird. THE PURSUIT OF ITALY by David GilmourKirkus Book Reviews Read the Kirkus Review of THE PURSUIT OF ITALY A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples. Is there a MI-5 message hidden in the text a la Three Days of the Condor? The books riddled with inaccuracies on Italy. The seemingly different thing could be that an anti-establishment five-star movement could come into power, yet the cracking up of old party rivalries did already happen in Italy before, when Berlusconi became prime minister due to a series of scandals of ruling party Christian Democrat and the ever-losing appeal of Communist party after the dissolve of USSR. [The Pursuit of Italy] has the same tonic, exhilarating impact as the thigh-slapping overture to a Verdi opera.” —Jonathan Keates, The Literary Review “[The Pursuit of Italy has] a freshness and readability often lacking in more laborious histories, an attractiveness reinforced by the quality of the writing, which is versatile and vivid and frequently witty, able to encompass both densely factual material and … The author is a British historian who has a long association with Italy beginning in childhood and continuing … Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Upon finishing up this book, Italy is now awaiting for a new government, presumably a coalition one due to fragmented party system as usual. However, the main part of this book deals with the "great men" of the 18th and 19th century - so countless invasions, revolts, conspiracies, soldiers and kings. Take a riveting tour of the Italian peninsula, from the glittering canals of Venice to the lavish papal apartments and ancient ruins of Rome. A book recommendation for all Italophiles: The Pursuit of Italy by David Gilmour. . Some readers may have expected more cultural history, but the book is overwhelmingly a political and military history. The other eras of Italian history are covered with equal verve and style. It attempts to capture the major political mov. I quickly lost interest, mainly because Gilmour's narrative became strangely disjointed and muddled. The Pursuit of Italy offers an enduring tribute to a various and wonderful people., Praise For The Pursuit Of Italy "Amazingly compendious . I planned to read this book during our holiday in Tuscany, Italy. Despite attempts at national unity, from the territorial conquests of the medieval period to the Risorgimento, Italians continued to feel disconnected from each other. Was this book deal a pay-off for the author? An Economist Best Book of the Year“Sweeping . Thursday 03 May 2012 15:04. Excellent history of Italy from its earliest times to Berlusconi with the theme that Italy has always been better off as a collection of smaller entities (cities, communes, duchies etc) than as a unified country due to its cultural and geographical diversity; highly recommended. The Pursuit of Italy, By David Gilmour. Venice was its own special case, and then there were the Papal States - the Pope's personal territory. The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples David Gilmour. I was truly sorry when I finished this book. Started off well, with interesting ideas about the connection between geography and culture, but eventually became a litany of names and dates from the unification onward that wasn't particularly insightful. This work is expansive and at times overbearing, but nearly always entertaining. This is not a "review" by any means. Actually my brain hurts from reading but it's spectacular. A relatively snappy history of Italy written in an engaging style, this book could perhaps have provided greater coverage to certain eras and topics. Review of Gilmour, David, The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples. James Mustich is the author of the new book 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List. This is a great book on Italy. by Allen Lane. This was a well-written romp through the history of Italy. Reviews from Goodreads The decentralization that followed the fall of the Roman Empire resulted many entities: friendly, competitive, combative and intermarried entities. The Pursuit of Italy by David Gilmour. One interesting trivia of this election is that One map showing the voting distribution of political party roughly resembles to the state boundary of Italy before its unification, suggesting that the tension between different parts of Italy may not only be out of economics, but with something to do with fundamental cultures of the regions where voters strong identified themselves into. A pageant with wealthy and fascinating players: Catholic Church, Florentine bankers, Venetian merchants, Bourbon kings, talented artists and more played across this narrow peninsula. It was well-timed and added to the experience. Unification was "a sin against history and geography," as Gilmour often quotes. . Unsure how this was even published, let alone how it received the fairly positive reviews it received. There were wars and competition and money and art to be made. Retrouvez The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648-1815 et des millions de livres en stock sur Amazon.fr. [David Gilmour] -- The author, a historian has provided a coherent, persuasive, and entertaining interpretation of the paradoxes of Italian life, past and present. The Pursuit of Italy traces the whole history of the Italian peninsula in a wonderfully readable style, full of well-chosen stories and observations from personal experience, and peopled by many of the great figures of the Italian past, from Cicero and Virgil to Dante and the Medici, from Cavour and Verdi to the controversial political figures of the twentieth century. The north didn't like the south and the feeling was mutual. British historian Gilmour (The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj, 2006, etc.) Get this from a library! That Gabriele Muccino is a great story teller shows the way he has presented the story of his movie 'the Pursuit of Happyness' in a very subtle way. To see what your friends thought of this book, This is a great book on Italy. The chapters on the past 74 years of Italian history (i.e., post-World War II) are fast and "low flying" over some interesting country. For a complete beginner on Italian history this is probably the book to read. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

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