A sense of failure pervades Italian history: the failure of the Liberal State after Unification to democratize, mobilize and modernize Italian politics, economy and society; the rise of Fascism as a reflection of these shortcomings; the problems of the post-war Republic, tainted by corruption, organized crime and terrorism. The notion has arisen of Italy as a deviant nation, unable or unwilling to follow the "normal" path of state development.
These perceptions are the stuff of historical debate, and it is with the ebb and flow of interpretation that this study is principally concerned. In each of the three sections--Liberal Italy, Fascist Italy and Italy from the Occupation until the end of the "First" Republic - Carter describes and evaluates the historiographical contours. The politics, economic developments and society and culture of each period are thoroughly analyzed, and an overview of recent research into hitherto neglected areas of study, such as gender, popular culture, and sport, is also included.
This book is an invaluable guide for those wishing to get swiftly to the heart of the issues in modern Italian history.