Allen Lane

The Force of Destiny

A History of Italy Since 1796

Christopher Duggan

A vivid and highly readable history of Italy from the early nineteenth century, when the movement for national unification began, down to the present

The early and mid-nineteenth century saw a chaotic, fragmented peninsula in Southern Europe fused together to form what we know today as Italy. Christopher Duggan's brilliant recounting of this is one of the great European stories. But Italy's birth had immensely damaging side effects. Unification meant, to many Italians, 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 the dominant state in the continent. The failure of Italian unification to realise these ambitions led Italy to become a highly unstable element in Europe, contributing to both world wars and challenging the general international order.

The Force of Destiny tells this extraordinary story with great vividness and intelligence. It exposes the difficulties of building a nation and shows how easily nationalism can slip towards authoritarianism and war.

Christopher Duggan is Professor of Italian History at the University of Reading and author of a highly acclaimed biography of Francesco Crispi.


Pub Date: August, 2007
ISBN: 9780713997095
Price: £30.00
Format: 234 x 153mm hb
Extent: 688pp
Illustrations: 16pp b/w inset
Territory: 1BCEKZ
US rights: Penguin UK
Translation Rights: Felicity Bryan
Film Rights: Felicity Bryan
Serial Rights: Penguin UK

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