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A Rugged Nation: Mountains and the Making of Modern Italy Hardcover – 15 Jul 2011


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This is a highly original book that changes the way we think about one of the oldest and most studied nations on earth. Through abundant details and intriguing stories, Armiero convincingly shows how central to Italy's identity its mountains have become. Donald Worster, author of A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir Armiero scales the summits of environmental history, deftly blending cultural and materialist approaches. His book provides a full and fascinating account of the evolving role of mountains in shaping Italian nationalist imagination and the role of nationalism in shaping the mountain landscapes. J.R. McNeill [Armiero] deftly weaves together the varied threads of ecological and socioeconomic connections of mountain country and mountain peoples in the fabric of modern Italian history. The result is a rich and convincing pattern revealing the shapes of mountain images and mountain realities in culture, resistance movements, war, hydropower development, and landscape changes ... a new perspective on Italy. (Donald Hughes, Environmental History) Armiero proves the centrality of the European Alps and the Apennines in the narratives of the nation and its territory from the very beginning of the process of unification, and also in the conception and implementation of major public policies related to forestry, energy, tourism ... he combines, in a very fruitful way, an approach in terms of environmental history and the analysis of the symbolic aspects of the building of the Italian nation, materiality, and narratives. (Bernard Debarbieux, Mountain Research and Development)

About the Author

Marco Armiero (Ph.D. in Economic History) is an environmental historian, currently working as a Senior Researcher at the National Research Council, Italy. He was among the founders of the environmental history field in Italy, co-authoring with Stefania Barca the first Italian textbook on the subject, Storia dell'Ambiente. Una Introduzione (2004). His main topics of study have been the history of environmental conflicts over property rights and access to common resources (forests and sea), the politics of nature and landscape in Italian-nation building and the environmental history of mass migrations. He co-edited with Marcus Hall the book Nature and History in Modern Italy (2010) and edited Views from the South. Environmental Stories from the Mediterranean World (19th-20th cent.) (2006). He has worked at the Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University; at the Environmental Science, Policy and Management Department, UC Berkeley; and at The Bill Lane Center for the Study of the American West, Stanford University. Since February 2010 he has been a Marie Curie Fellow at the L'Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, working on a project about the political ecology of garbage in contemporary Naples, Italy.

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A Rugged Nation: Mountains and the Making of Modern Italy 3 Feb 2014
By Betty J. Craipo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marco Armiero takes the Italy we think we know and uses historical-cultural lessons to prove to us that we have much to learn about the mountains of Italy. During the drive to modernity in which all developed nations participated, Italy, like the Soviet Union and the United States, used their people and their land as mere commodities that could be done with as it chose. Armiero brings out the detail for Italy, from the mountaineers to the goats, from the landslides to reforestation, and from backwardness to hydroelectricity.
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