on 12 September 2002
An absolute must for anyone interested in Italian politics and literature, this short but powerful book also deserves a much broader readership. It is not quite Sciascia at his most lucid, but his insights into the mentalities of the political classes and the terrorists of the time are exceptional. There's a good introduction, too, for this new edition.
This book was read by me in 2003, many years after the sad event it coversbut its impact is none the worse for that. If anything given subsequentevents in Italy after Moro's death, Sciascia was proven to have written avery insightful book into Italian political morals over the post waryears.
Sciascia is an Italian politician and writer whose coverage of Italy'spolitical problems has made him many friends and enemies across the yearsit seems (witness the tragic impact he inadvertently had by criticisingthe anti-Mafia judges as covered in Alex Stille's great book "ExcellentCadavers").
This book is based on his involvement as a member of the Italianparliamentary committee which investigated the Moro Affair after itstragic outcome. He firstly provides a great detective story covering howincompetent other Italian politicians and the forces of law and order wereafter the kidnapping of Moro by left wing terrorists. The secondinterlinking element he covers (with what at times to an English reader isa pondering intellectual style), is however the major reason for buyingthe book which is to probe the mindset of the Italian political partiesand their leaders and how they behaved over the event for their own vestedinterests. His method of tracking through the letters from Moro handedover to the press and politicians during his period of captivity inshowing Moro's growing realisation of what was happening, underlines themajor tragedy this event was for Italy even though it was to be many yearsbefore the perhaps inevitable outcome was reached in the "clean hands"campaign of the 1990s.
on 25 April 2011
I ordered this book thinking it was a novel, but it is in reality an account of the murder of Aldo Moro, Prime Minister of Italy, by the Red Brigades in 1978. The account is given in highly figurative not to say poetic terms and I gave up on it before page 40. However, I passed it to to a friend who is mainly interested in political writing and he assures me it is a fascinating account of the political landscape of the Italy of the time.