The Shortest History of Italy

Ross King


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Old Street Publishing
2 April 2024
ISBN: 9781913083564

From the publisher

‘King’s supreme ability is to imagine himself into the past. The scope of his knowledge is staggering’ JOHN CAREY, SUNDAY TIMES

From Michelangelo to Mussolini, Nero to Meloni, Galileo to Garibaldi, here is the sparkling story of the world’s most influential peninsula.

The calendar, the university, the piano; the Vespa, the pistol and the pizzeria… It’s easy to assume that inventions like these could only come from somewhere sure of its place in the world. Yet these pages reveal a land rife with uncertainty even as its influence spread.

From the rise of the Roman Republic to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, from the glories of Renaissance Florence to the long struggle for unification, from Europe’s first operas to the world’s first ghettos, Ross King nimbly charts the checkered course of Italian history. In the last hundred years, film, fashion and Fiat – once bigger than Volkswagen – emerge from the horrors of fascism and world war.

The Shortest History of Italy is a majestic sweep across three millennia of history that not only shaped Europe but the wider world.