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  • Short Oxford History of Italy

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Short Oxford History of Italy RSS

The complete Short Oxford History of Italy provides a concise, readable, and authoritative point of entry for the history of Italy from the early Middle Ages to the present day in seven volumes. Each volume emphasises how developments in Italy are best understood as variants on broader European patterns of political, economic, social, and cultural change.

General Editor John Davis, University of Connecticut

From the General Editor

Over the last three decades historians have begun to interpret Europe's past in new ways. In part this reflects changes within Europe itself, the declining importance of the individual European states in an increasingly global world, the moves towards closer political and economic integration amongst the European states, and Europe's rapidly changing relations with the non-European world. It also reflects broader intellectual changes rooted in the experience of the twentieth century that have brought new fields of historical inquiry into prominence and have radically changed the ways in which historians approach the past.

Covering a chronological span from late antiquity to the present, the Short Oxford History of Italy is organized in seven volumes, to which over seventy specialists in different fields and periods of Italian history will contribute. Each volume will provide clear and concise accounts of how each period of Italy's history is currently being redefined, and their collective purpose is to show how an older perspective that reduced Italy's past to the quest of a nation for statehood and independence has now been displaced by different and new perspectives.

The fact that Italy's history has long been dominated by the modern nation-state and its origins simply reflects one particular variant on a pattern evident throughout Europe. When from the eighteenth century onwards Italian writers turned to the past to retrace the origins of their nation and its quest for independent nationhood, they were doing the same as their counterparts elsewhere in Europe. But their search for the nation imposed a periodization on Italy's past that has survived to the present, even if the original intent has been lost or redefined. Focusing their attention on those periods - the middle ages, the Renaissance, the Risorgimento that seemed to anticipate the modern, they carefully averted their gaze from those that did not - the Dark Ages, and the centuries of foreign occupation and conquest after the sack of Rome in 1527.

Paradoxically, this search for unity segmented Italy's past both chronologically and geographically, since those regions (notably the South) deemed to have contributed less to the quest for nationhood were also ignored. It also accentuated the discontinuities of Italian history caused by foreign conquest and invasion, so that Italy's successive rebirths - the Renaissance and the Risorgimento - came to symbolize all that was distinctive and exceptional in Italian history. Fascism then carried the cycle of triumph and disaster forward into the twentieth century, thereby adding to the conviction that Italy's history was exceptional, the belief that it was in some essential sense also deeply flawed. Post-war historians redrew Italy's past in bleaker terms, but used the same retrospective logic as before to link fascism to failings deeply rooted in Italy's recent and more distant past.

Seen from the end of the twentieth century this heavily retrospective reasoning appears anachronistic and inadequate. But although these older perspectives continue to find an afterlife in countless textbooks, they have been displaced by a more contemporary awareness that in both the present and the past the different European national communities have no single history, but instead many different histories.

The volumes in the Short Oxford History of Italy will show how Italy's history too is being rethought in these terms. Its new histories are being constructed around the political, cultural, religious and economic institutions from which Italy's history has drawn continuities that have outlasted changing fortunes of foreign conquest and invasion. In each period their focus is the peoples and societies that have inhabited the Italian peninsula, on the ways in which political organization, economic activity, social identities, and organization were shaped in the contexts and meanings of their own age.

These perspectives make possible a more comparative history, one that shows more clearly how Italy's history has been distinctive without being exceptional. They also enable us to write a history of Italians that is fuller and more continuous, recovering the previously 'forgotten' centuries and geographical regions while revising our understanding of those that are more familiar. In each period Italy's many different histories can also be positioned more closely in the constantly changing European and Mediterranean worlds of which Italians have always been part.

John A Davis, University of Connecticut

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Cover for 9780198700418

Early Modern Italy

1550-1796

£88.00

John A. Marino

9780198700418
Hardback
02 May 2002
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780198700425

Early Modern Italy

1550-1796

£26.49

John A. Marino

9780198700425
Paperback
02 May 2002
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780198700395

Italy in the Age of the Renaissance

1300-1550

£88.00

John M. Najemy

9780198700395
Hardback
11 November 2004
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780198700401

Italy in the Age of the Renaissance

1300-1550

£25.00

John M. Najemy

9780198700401
Paperback
04 November 2004
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780199247042

Italy in the Central Middle Ages

£25.00

David Abulafia

9780199247042
Paperback
04 March 2004
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780199247035

Italy in the Central Middle Ages 1000-1300

£88.00

David Abulafia

9780199247035
Hardback
18 March 2004
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780198700487

Italy in the Early Middle Ages

476-1000

£24.99

Cristina La Rocca

9780198700487
Paperback
25 April 2002
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780198700470

Italy in the Early Middle Ages

476-1000

£88.00

Cristina La Rocca

9780198700470
Hardback
25 April 2002
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780198731276

Italy in the Nineteenth Century

1796-1900

£25.00

John A. Davis

9780198731276
Paperback
21 September 2000
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780198731283

Italy in the Nineteenth Century

1796-1900

£88.00

John A. Davis

9780198731283
Hardback
21 September 2000
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780198731702

Italy Since 1945

£88.00

Patrick McCarthy

9780198731702
Hardback
21 September 2000
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780198731696

Italy Since 1945

£26.49

Patrick McCarthy

9780198731696
Paperback
21 September 2000
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780198731986

Liberal and Fascist Italy

1900-1945

£26.49

Adrian Lyttelton

9780198731986
Paperback
06 June 2002
Short Oxford History of Italy

Cover for 9780198731979

Liberal and Fascist Italy

1900-1945

£88.00

Adrian Lyttelton

9780198731979
Hardback
06 June 2002
Short Oxford History of Italy

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