By Paul Ginsburg
During this long-awaited ebook (already an immense bestseller in Italy), Ginsborg has created a desirable, subtle and definitive account of the way Italy has coped, or did not cope, with the previous twenty years. modern Italy strongly mirrors Britain - the international locations have approximately an identical volume, inhabitants measurement and GNP - and but they're superbly varied. Ginsborg sees this distinction as such a lot essentially transparent within the position of the family members and it's the family members that is on the center of Italian politics and company. an individual wishing to appreciate modern Italy will locate it necessary to have this significantly beautiful and clever booklet.
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Extra info for A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics: 1943-1988 (Penguin History)
Between 1880 and 1930 their poverty-stricken economy had only survived thanks to widespread emi gration. On the plateaux of the interior, with their great fields of corn, large and medium-sized estates were most common and peasant property rarer. In Sardinia the world of the shepherd and that of the peasant were almost totally distinct. The hill plateaux region was the heartland of the latifondo. The word Iatifondo means large estate, and these were certainly still very common, consisting for example of up to 80 per cent of all cultivated land in Sicily.
The living conditions of the peasants moved Rossi-Doria to outrage: 'These are things which are well known, repeated by every one, but they are things which we must never tire of shouting from the roof-tops, because decades go by, regimes pass away, thousands of millions of lire are spent on superfluous schemes, and eight million Italians continue to live iit those houses which are not houses, to the eternal shame of a country which proclaims itself to be civilized:71 As for the landowners, they displayed extremely hidebound attitudes towards both agricultural production and landlord-peasant relations.
In 1806, under the rule of Joseph Bonaparte, it was decided that the peasantry should be systematically compensated for these deprivations by assigning to them one quarter of the land that had previously been open to common rights usage. This promise of land was like a diamond ingrained in the collective consciousness of the peasantry. In the face of endless obstruction and litigation, they rose up to claim their share of the land at frequent intervals between 1820 and 1860. Not even with Garibaldi's conquest of the South in 1860 was agrarian reform carried out.
A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics: 1943-1988 (Penguin History) by Paul Ginsburg