Customer Review

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Discontent in Kickback City, 24 July 2007
This review is from: Italy and its Discontents 1980-2001: Family, Civil Society, State (Paperback)
An enormous amount has happened to the that glorious enigma of a country which is Italy in the last quarter century, so to see an eminent specialist in the field writing a book entitled Italy and its Discontents 1980-2001 should be a subject for general rejoicing. Alas, having ploughed through this weighty tome, I cannot give the book an unqualified welcome. It does have a number of strengths; Ginsborg certainly knows his country, the major political, social and economic issues are covered in thorough and organized fashion and there are a wealth of supporting tables and notes. However, if you are to present an account full of facts and figures there is a desperate need for the light touch and fluent readability possessed by the very best writers. Sadly this is seriously lacking here: in structure and style this has all the hallmarks of a textbook: fine perhaps for an undergraduate course in European Studies or a work of reference, but less appealing for those who want something more evocative of the spirit of a maddeningly glorious country which they may have visited or as in my case, lived in. The narrative tends to improve as the book progresses to the scandals of Tangentopoli and the re-drawing of the political landscape after the 1992 election with Ginsborg's comparisons between the U.K and Italy especially pertinent, but it remains a very solid read to the end. In summary, an essential purchase for the student or specialist in Italian politics or as a work of reference for the enthusiast, but readers who seek an enjoyable exploration of contemporary Italian life and society will be forced to look elsewhere.
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3.8 out of 5 stars (4 customer reviews)
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Reviewer

Eugene Onegin
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Lincoln England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 483