Review by Choice Review
This bibliography is an outgrowth of the compiler's Dictionary of Modern Italian History (CH, Dec'85), and it shows the weaknesses of an unplanned work. Flaws abound, ranging from a very thin subject index to the absence of accents in most French titles. Primary sources rarely are listed directly, although the correspondence of Sidney Sonnino is. One misses the works of Gramsci and many others. Numerous obvious omissions occur, including the works of Gino Luzzato and some of the works that have made our image of modern Italy, like Luigi Barzini's The Italians (CH, Dec'64) and Carlo Levi's Christ Stopped at Eboli (1947). Articles are described as "Monographic Studies," and the coverage of such topics as modern Italian cinema is spotty. What the compilers do well is to compile chronological groupings of secondary literature, much of it in Italian, and to provide pointed annotations. The critique of Rudolph M. Bell's Holy Anorexia (1985), for example, is a model of a brief refutation. The insights into the limits of Italian options in foreign policy in the Liberal period are masterful. A more systematic development, including better coverage of cultural affairs and of primary sources, might have yielded a first class guide. This volume, however, can be recommended only for specialized collections supporting research and teaching on Italy. -T. M. Izbicki, Wichita State University
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