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The Order Has Been Carried Out: History, Memory, and Meaning of a Nazi Massacre in Rome (Palgrave Studies in Oral History) [Hardcover]

Alessandro Portelli

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Book Description

30 Jan 2004 Palgrave Studies in Oral History
On March 24, 1944, Nazi occupation forces in Rome killed 335 unarmed civilians in retaliation for a partisan attack the day before. Portelli has crafted an eloquent, multi-voiced oral history of the massacre, of its background and its aftermath. The moving stories of the victims, the women and children who survived and carried on, the partisans who fought the Nazis, and the common people who lived through the tragedies of the war together paint a many-hued portrait of one of the world's most richly historical cities. The Order Has Been Carried Out powerfully relates the struggles for freedom under Fascism and Nazism, the battles for memory in post-war democracy, and the meanings of death and grief in modern society.

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About the Author

ALESSANDRO PORTELLI teaches American Literature at the University of Rome, 'La Sapienza'. He is the author of numerous books and essays, including The Text and the Voice: Speaking, Writing, and Democracy in American Literature. He is currently advisor to the Mayor of Rome for the preservation and promotion of the City's historical memory. He lives in Rome.

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On March 25, 1944, the newspapers in Rome published a release from the state news agency. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of Scholarship, a Masterpiece of Literature 11 Feb 2004
By Robert Katz - Published on Amazon.com
This oral history, justly awarded Italy's prestigious Premio Viareggio, is one of the finest books ever written on this subject. Whoever desires something more than a skin-deep understanding of contemporary Rome, should read Professor Portelli's landmark study of the impact of the Ardeatine Caves massacre on three generations of Romans of every social class and consequently on the very character of the Eternal City.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Example of Oral History 16 July 2009
By C. kirkpatrick - Published on Amazon.com
This is a wonderful example of how oral history can flesh out more objective and traditional versions of history. It brings the time and place alive; it shows the interplay of the grand and the small; the aftermath on an entire culture, individuals and families for many, many years of an incident that would be a footnote in regular historical texts. The author is very insightful and humane.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A profound oral history that will leave you wiser, though definitely sadder. 16 May 2013
By Gouverneur - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nietzsche wrote "There is only a perspective seeing, only a perspective knowing." Portelli's powerful reconstruction of the Nazi massacre of 335 civilians in retaliation for 33 German casualties in a partisan attack in Rome, through his artful weaving of the memories and judgments of surviving perpetrators, victims, their wives and children, and their children's children, demonstrates how such "perspectivism" in the hands of a master oral historian engenders a complex understanding of a traumatic event. I believe I am wiser for reading this book; I know I am sadder.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars innovative research 31 Jan 2006
By S. Leijdesdorff - Published on Amazon.com
This path-breaking book written by a well know oral historian shows again the masterly skills of the italian historian Portelli. The book is an essay in oral history and a piece on how societies deal with a traumatized past. In a sense it is a book on the creation of historical consciousness that is constructed by the individual and by collective agencies. I recommend it to all interested in (social) memory, narratives of the past, and the cultural transformation of memory. Besides its academic skill the book is also well written and reads like a novel. The voices of survivors and witnesses become audible.

Selma Leydesdorff

professor of oral history and culture

University of Amsterdam

editor of Memory and Narratives
5.0 out of 5 stars I want to go back to Rome and visit every village that was involved 17 Dec 2013
By patricia ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read an article in the Boston Globe re: Pope FRANCIS would not allow ex-Nazi to be buried in a Catholic service. I found the book with Amazon. Wonderful book, horrifying once again how the Germans did what they did.
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