The Pursuit of Italy

A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples

David Gilmour

Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks

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A provocative, entertaining account of Italy’s diverse riches, its hopes and dreams, its past and present

Did Garibaldi do Italy a disservice when he helped its disparate parts achieve unity? Was the goal of political unification a mistake? The question is asked and answered in a number of ways in this engaging, original consideration of the many histories that contribute to the brilliance—and weakness—of Italy today.

David Gilmour’s wonderfully readable exploration of Italian life over the centuries is filled with provocative anecdotes as well as personal observations, and is peopled by the great figures of the Italian past—from Cicero and Virgil to the controversial politicians of the twentieth century. His wise account of the Risorgimento debunks the nationalistic myths that surround it, though he paints a sympathetic portrait of Giuseppe Verdi, a beloved hero of the era.

Gilmour shows that the glory of Italy has always lain in its regions, with their distinctive art, civic cultures, identities, and cuisines. Italy’s inhabitants identified themselves not as Italians but as Tuscans and Venetians, Sicilians and Lombards, Neapolitans and Genoese. Italy’s strength and culture still come from its regions rather than from its misconceived, mishandled notion of a unified nation.

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In the Press

The Pursuit of Italy - A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples - By David Gilmour - Book Review - NYTimes.com
The historian David Gilmour argues that the 1861 unification of Italy was a mistake.
- The New York Times

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. British historian Gilmour (The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj, 2006, etc.) declares there's no such thing as Italy.
- Kirkus Reviews


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About the Author

David Gilmour

Sir David Gilmour is one of Britain’s most admired and accomplished historical writers and biographers. His previous books include The Last Leopard, The Long Recessional (FSG, 2002), and, most recently, The Ruling Caste (FSG, 2006).

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Pursuit of Italy
A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples
David Gilmour

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
November 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374533601
ISBN10: 0374533601
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 480 pages, 16 Pages of Black-and-White Illustrations/3 Maps/Notes/Bibliography/Index
$17.00

Hardcover

Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
October 2011
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780374283162
ISBN10: 0374283168
6 x 9 inches, 480 pages, 16 Pages of Black-and-White Illustrations, 3 Maps, a Bibliography, and an Index
$32.50

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
October 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466801547
ISBN10: 1466801549
480 pages, Includes 16 Pages of Black-and-White Illustrations, 3 Maps, a Bibliography, and an Index
$9.99
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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