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The Second War of Italian Unification 1859-61 (Essential Histories) [Paperback]

Frederick Schneid
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 Jun 2012 Essential Histories (Book 74)
The culmination of decades of nationalist aspiration and cynical Realpolitik, the Second War of Italian Unification saw Italy transformed from a patchwork of minor states dominated by the Habsburg Austrians into a unified kingdom under the Piedmontese House of Savoy. Unlike many existing accounts, which approach the events of 1859-61 from a predominantly French perspective, this study draws upon a huge breadth of sources to examine the conflict as a critical event in Italian history. A concise explanation of the origins of the war is followed by a wide-ranging survey of the forces deployed and the nature and course of the fighting - on land and at sea - and the consequences for those involved are investigated. This is a groundbreaking study of a conflict that was of critical significance not only for Italian history but also for the development of 19th-century warfare.

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The Second War of Italian Unification 1859-61 (Essential Histories) + Solferino 1859 (Campaign)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; 1st Edition edition (20 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849087873
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849087872
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 18.3 x 0.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 490,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A fine survey that tells of a complex conflict in 1859 that defined and united the country we know today as 'Italy.'"--James A. Cox, "The Bookwatch "(September 2012)

About the Author

Dr Frederick Schneid, Professor of History at North Carolina's High Point University, is an authority on 19th-century European military history; his particular areas of interest include the Napoleonic Wars and the Italian armies of that era. His book The War of the Risorgimento, 1859-1861 is due to be published in 2011. This is his first book for Osprey.

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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Arguably there are not many works In English covering this important era; some although worthy are also very academic and so for readers not involved in study or research a bit of a trial to get through. Once again Osprey comes to our aid with this addition to their Essential History series.
Although this concentrates upon the war between Piedmont and Austria which Napoleon III of France saw advantageous to become involved in, this book proves its worth by providing an overall historical and geo-political background, a summary of the Risorgimento 1815-1849 and a concise clear account of the political manoeuvres both in and outside of the Italian peninsula in the years preceding 1859. In the description and narration of the events of 1859 this book and that of Osprey’s Campaign volume Solferino 1859 dovetail. Whereas there is there is some general duplication in the description of the battles of Magenta and Solferino each volume compliments the other in covering aspects not in the companion’s remit. This volume has a number of exceptional reproductions of the contemporary prints, photographs and paintings of events and characters and good maps of the important military engagements. It then covers the period following France’s withdrawal involving Piedmont’s campaigns against Naples and the Papal States and Garabaldi’s invasion and subsequent campaign in Scilly.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teacing aid 28 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this book was useful for teaching and learning AS history Italian unification. Some students found that the title implied there was a first war book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good Overview with a Lot of Information 16 Sep 2012
By Mike Dillemuth - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a great overview of the entire conflict. It also provides information on the prior and succeeding Wars of Unification. The narrative of the war is well done and flows in a logical manner. The first chapters are helpful in outlining significant events and historical figures. Understanding the First War of Unification from 1848-1849 is crucial to understanding this conflict. Understanding the geography at that time is also important as this war was fought by countries that no longer exist.

The author, Frederick Schneid, included numerous color and black and white paintings. They are an effective compliment to the narrative. These images give the reader a better feel for the armies and their battlefields.

The book has 2D maps of the battles of San Martino, Solferino, Magenta, the Campaign of Sicily, and the siege of Gaeta. These maps give the reader a much better understanding of the battles. The author also included a geographic map of Risorgimento Italy 1848-1870. This map provides a clear geographic orientation of the countries involved in the conflict.

The ending chapters provide a nice supplement to the overall narrative. These chapters describe civilians and soldiers. They also describe the various alliances between Napoleon III, Franze Joseph of Austria, and the other powers. The author also paints a good image of Garibaldi, the most famous of the war's participants.

Bottom line: this book provides a nice overview. The narrative is supported by paintings and drawings. This war was fought by countries unknown to most readers. That said, the author did a great job of explaining the various people and places. Even though there are a lot of unfamiliar names, most readers will leave this book with a better understating of this war and its charismatic leaders.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for Military History 28 Jun 2014
By Ryan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I got this book, I was interested more in the events and ideologies leading up to and through the Italian Reunification. Other sites advertised this book as if it was exactly that. When I got it and finished reading it, I was disappointed that not a ton of ideology was discussed. However, the book does a great job in detailing the role Cavour and Napoleon III played in reuniting the Italian peninsula. He also brings in Garibaldi in a non-Romantic view, which is rarely seen in many Italian history books. If you are looking for a detailed account of the war and diplomacy then I suggest this book.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not the end point. 22 July 2012
By Mike - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Again, a Osprey title. This is a good starting point on the Wars of Italian unification but that is about it. Some of this info you can find in other places like in the Sofierno 1859 book also by Osprey.
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