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Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
4

on 12 July 2013
This is a really poorly written book (sorry to disagree with the previous reviewer). It is like a long Wiki page or a schoolboy's essay. The first thing a military biography like this needs is a proper introduction. The introduction to this book is actually just a summary and completely incomprehensible until you have read the rest of the book. The introduction should have explained to the reader what the political situation in Italy was at the time and who ruled which parts of the future Italy. It might have helped to explain what the "revolution(s)" was/were about. But no, we just get a Fodor's guide to Italy with battles one after the other. It is true the focus of the book is supposed to be the great man himself, but with no explanation of who he was fighting against the book degenerates into a list of towns, battles and a huge cast of opponents and allies of ,mostly, unknown significance. Likewise when Garibaldi slopes off to South America the reader is likely to ask: why South America? Although he went there and fought for freedom etc, it is not at all clear who he fought for or against and what was the outcome. It is a relief that this book is so short, otherwise I probably wouldn't have finished it. I give two stars only for the illustrations, some of which have been drawn specfically for the book and a large number of engravings, mostly from the much lamented "Illustrated London news".
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on 8 August 2015
This book describes Garibaldi's quest to unify Italy. It also contains lots of anecdotes and historical facts. There is also some analysis of the political context surrounding the unification of Italy.
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on 16 July 2014
Excellent book.well written
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on 8 March 2012
This is a very good introduction to "the only wholly admirable figure in modern history", as he has been called by a modern historian. It is excellently illustrated, both in the maps and plates, and in the supporting illustrations. Garibaldi fought in wars of liberation in both Europe and South America, and was a superb leader in combat.

Page 6 - "According to the eminent British historian, A.J.P. Taylor, Garibaldi was `the only wholly admirable figure in modern history.' For his battles on behalf of freedom in Latin America, Italy and France he was dubbed the `Hero of Two Worlds'. When editing Garibaldi's Memoirs in 1860, Alexandre Dumas qualified this by stating: `A man who defends his own country or attacks another's is no more than a soldier... but he, who adopts some other country as his own and makes offer of his sword and his blood, is more than a soldier. He is a hero...'"

"Garibaldi understood how to inspire men on the battlefield. He proved himself to be an able tactician and, most importantly of all, was able to lead the bayonet charges at Calatafemi and Volturno that tipped the scales of battle and led to ultimate victory."

The Contents are -
P04: Introduction
P07: The Early Years 1807-47
P09: The Hours of Destiny 1848-60
P51: Later Years 1861-82
P56: Opposing Commanders
P59: Inside the Mind
P61: A Life in Words
P62: Bibliography
P64: Index

The Colour Plates
P05: Map - Garibaldi's European campaigns and battles, 1849-71
P12: Map - The defence of Rome, 1849
P17: Colour Plate - Villa Corsini, siege of Rome, 1849
This shows Garibaldi on horseback, with six infantry of the Italian Legion, advancing into the fire of the (off-page) French; with the villa in the bachground.
P24: Map - The 1859 Campaign
P39: Map - The battle of Milazzo, 1860
P43: Colour Plate - Garibaldi and his lieutenants at Messina, 1860
This shows Garibaldi and four of his senior officers, standing among the batteries of Messina, with many figures in the background, and a view across the sea.
P49: Map - The battle of Volturno, 1 October 1860
P53: Colour Plate - The battle of Volturno, 1860
This shows Garibaldi leading his men in the last desperate charge to turn back the advancing Neapolitan troops, which wins the battle. This is a big crowd scene, reminiscent of many 19th century paintings of battles. (That is a compliment.)

There are many excellent contemporary monochrome and colour illustrations supporting the text.
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