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The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples
The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples
by David Gilmour
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a Different Perspective, 9 Mar. 2013
As the born and bred Italian that I am, I did my schooling in the Bel Paese and I was fed its history of a 'glorious' past, heroes and villains, some victories and some defeats, but overall a proud people united by the desire of living in one country as one nation with one language. But in the back of my mind there was always this thought that something was not quite right about what I now clearly see, thanks to David Gilmour, as an attempt at creating a sense of unity and belonging that wasn't and still isn't there among my fellow nationals. 'Campanilismo' is a reality, allegiance to your town or local football team, love for your family and affection for your neighbours are much stronger feelings than the sense of belonging to a wider nation contained within the borders of the country.

Reading The Pursuit of Italy was like reading thoughts and ideas that I had never been really able to articulate. It has dismantled certain myths that I was made to accept as gospel by a benign form of propaganda aimed at drawing people together to try and weave the fabric of a nation. I don't blame the founding fathers of modern Italy for trying and mostly failing, well meaning though they may have been.

The book is well written, informative and compelling. I admit that on a personal level I felt more shame than pride, but my final thought when I turned the last page was 'yes, that's the way it is'.

What I found hilarious was that the chapter on Berlusconi is written in the past tense, as if he was finally out of the picture. Little did we know...

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