Italian Vices: Nation and Character from the Risorgimento to the Republic (Paperback)
  • Italian Vices: Nation and Character from the Risorgimento to the Republic (Paperback)
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Italian Vices: Nation and Character from the Risorgimento to the Republic (Paperback)

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£31.99
Paperback 290 Pages / Published: 18/07/2013
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Why do Italians believe that they have a national character and that this character is a major reason for their political woes? Why is their self-image so frequently derogatory? In this meticulous study of the role of national character in Italian political and social discourse, Silvana Patriarca reconstructs the genealogy of a pervasive idea in the culture of modern Italy. Using sources ranging from political pamphlets to newspapers and films, this book shows how self-representations of national character and its vices were shaped by foreign perceptions and stereotypes, internal political struggles, and changing intellectual paradigms. Investigating the politics of these representations, their ideological content, and their uses, the author recasts the study of Italian patriotism and nationalism as discourses and sheds light on Italian political culture and on the rhetoric of nationalism more generally.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107676787
Number of pages: 290
Weight: 390 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Patriarca's theoretical sophisticated and deeply researched history of the discourse of national character in Italy represents one of the most impressive achievements in this resurgence [of scholarly interest in the identity of the Italian nation]...Her subtle use of linguistic analysis and gender theory makes the book a model of interdisciplinary scholarship." -The Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"Patriarca has done painstaking research into representations of civic identity in pamphlets, political tracts and self-help books. As an analysis of the patriots, moralists, and makers of public opinion who wrote about national character, Patriarca's book stands as an excellent study of what constitutes Italianness in the eyes of a literate elite for more than a century and a half." -The American Historical Review
"To define the character of the Italians has always been a territory inevitably crowded with stereotypes. Silvana Patriarca sets out to study these stereotypes through a simple and effective method...It is an enterprise in which she is remarkably successful thanks also to the use of gender categories." -La Stampa
"A book of great interest, with a good contribution to its theme and with many perspectives which are unusual in the ideological history of modern Italy." -Corriere della Sera
"The author explains in convincing fashion that "resorting to self-stereotypes of national character has at times offered more or less 'convenient justifications'." Particularly enlightening are the pages on the elaboration of the fascist past where this function of the discourse becomes very clear.... A brilliant book." -Indice dei libri del mese
"...an excellent study of what constituted Italianness in the eyes of a literate elite for more than a century and a half." -Alice A. Kelikian, American Historical Review
"Professor Patriarca's clear and cogent anatomy of the philosophers, critics, journalists and historians who have interpreted the Italian character over the past two centuries is comprehensive and rewarding..." -John Gooch, Canadian Journal of History
"...timely and welcome contribution to the growing literature that studies the self-images of nations." -Adrian Lyttelton, The Journal of Modern History

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