The Force of Destiny
A History of Italy Since 1796Book - 2007
The early and mid-nineteenth century saw a chaotic, fragmented peninsula in southern Europe fused together to form what we know today as Italy. It was a birth that would have hugely damaging, as well as beneficial, side effects. To many Italians, unification meant that a new Italy would take its rightful place as one of Europe's great nations and that, swept on by 'the force of destiny', it would cease to be a poor and despised country, admired principally by tourists, and emerge instead as a dominant power in the continent, and worthy of its glorious past. The failure of Itialian unification to realize these ambitions led to Italy becoming a highly unstable element in Europe, contributing to both world wars and challenging the general international order.
In The Force of Destiny Christopher Duggan tells this extraordinary story, one of the greatest and most dramatic in European history, with vividness and intelligence. Interweaving Italy's art, music, literature and architecture with its economic and social realities and political development, he exposes the difficulties of building a nation and shows how easily nationalism can slip towards authoritarianism and war.