With Count Camillo Cavour's proclamation of a united Italian kingdom in 1861, the history of modern Italy began. But for this country, once at the centre of western culture and now promising to become a prosperous, liberal new European power, this late entry to nationhood and rapid reach for influence would bring frequent crises. In the decades following the Risorgimento, Italy lurched from liberal oligarchy to fascist dictatorship, through civil war to a new democratic regime still riddled with corruption and instability.
First published in 1958 as 'Italy: A Modern History', Denis Mack Smith's classic work has been fully revised and updated, providing a new and penetrating analysis of the country's development from 1945 to the present. Stylish, clearly written, deeply informed, and often controversial, it remains the definitive account.
Denis Mack Smith is a Fellow of the British Academy and of Wolfson College, Oxford, and a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He has been awarded a dozen literary prizes in Italy and is a Commendatore of the Italian Order of Merit.