The Italian love affair with sport is passionate, voracious, all-consuming. It provides a backdrop and a narrative to almost every aspect of daily life in Italy and the distinctively pink-coloured newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport is devoured by almost half a million readers every day. Narrating the history of modern Italy through its national passion for sport, Sport Italia provides a completely new portrayal of one of Europe's most alluring, yet contradictory countries, tracing the highs and lows of Italy's sporting history from its Liberal pioneers through Mussolini and the 1960 Rome Olympics to the Berlusconi era. By interweaving essential themes of Italian history, its politics, society and economy with a history of the passion for sport in the country, Simon Martin tells the story of modern Italy in a fresh and colourful way, illustrating how and why sport is so strongly embedded in both politics and society, and how it is inseparable from the concept of Italian national identity.
Showing sport's capacity to both unite and deeply divide, this book reveals a novel and previously unexplored element of the history of a society and its state, which will be an essential read for sports fans, historians and students alike.
Simon Martin is the author of Football and Fascism: The National Game under Mussolini which was awarded the Lord Aberdare Literary Prize for Sports History in 2004. He holds a PhD from University College London and has taught there, as well as at the University of Hertfordshire, the University of California Rome programme and New York University in Florence. He currently teaches at the American University of Rome and is a Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire and the British School at Rome. He appeared in the BBC2 documentary 'World Cup Stories' and is an FA qualified coach.
Chapter 1: Introduction; Chapter 2: From Unification to Disintegration: Leisure and Liberal Italy; Chapter 3: 'Soldiers of Sport' and 'Athletes of Fascism': Sport and Mussolini's Italy; Chapter 4: Dictatorship and Democracy: From the Duce to De Gasperi; Chapter 5: Reconstruction Italy: A Hot Economy in a Cold War; Chapter 6: Terrorists, Trade Unionists and Televisions: Italy's Cultural Revolution; Chapter 7: Berlusconi's Italy: The Politics of Football; Chapter 8: A Dirty Game and Clean Feet - Moggiopoli, Piedi Puliti and the Crisis of Calcio; Chapter 9: Conclusion: Everything Must Change if Things are to Remain the Same?