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Italy - History
Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World
Sprezzatura
50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World
Paperback      ISBN: 038572019x

A witty, erudite celebration of fifty great Italian cultural achievements that have significantly influenced Western civilization from the authors of What Are the Seven Wonders of the World?

"Sprezzatura," or the art of effortless mastery, was coined in 1528 by Baldassare Castiglione in The Book of the Courtier. No one has demonstrated effortless mastery throughout history quite like the Italians. From the Roman calendar and the creator of the modern orchestra (Claudio Monteverdi) to the beginnings of ballet and the creator of modern political science (Niccol Machiavelli), Sprezzatura highlights fifty great Italian cultural achievements in a series of fifty information-packed essays in chronological order.

Aphrodite and the Rabbis: How the Jews Adapted Roman Culture to Create Judaism as We Know It
Aphrodite and the Rabbis
How the Jews Adapted Roman Culture to Create Judaism as We Know It
Hardcover      ISBN: 1250085764

Hard to believe but true:

- The Passover Seder is a Greco-Roman symposium banquet
- The Talmud rabbis presented themselves as Stoic philosophers
- Synagogue buildings were Roman basilicas
- Hellenistic rhetoric professors educated sons of well-to-do Jews
- Zeus-Helios is depicted in synagogue mosaics across ancient Israel
- The Jewish courts were named after the Roman political institution, the Sanhedrin
- In Israel there were synagogues where the prayers were recited in Greek.

Historians have long debated the (re)birth of Judaism in the wake of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple cult by the Romans in 70 CE. What replaced that sacrificial cult was at once something new-indebted to the very culture of the Roman overlords-even as it also sought to preserve what little it could of the old Israelite religion. The Greco-Roman culture in which rabbinic Judaism grew in the first five centuries of the Common Era nurtured the development of Judaism as we still know and celebrate it today.

Arguing that its transformation from a Jerusalem-centered cult to a world religion was made possible by the Roman Empire, Rabbi Burton Visotzky presents Judaism as a distinctly Roman religion. Full of fascinating detail from the daily life and culture of Jewish communities across the Hellenistic world, Aphrodite and the Rabbis will appeal to anyone interested in the development of Judaism, religion, history, art and architecture.
Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year
Christ Stopped at Eboli
The Story of a Year
Paperback      ISBN: 0374503168

In the south of Italy, between Apulia and Calabria, lies a land that is barren, desolate, and malarial, where the peasants live out their existence in poverty and in the presence of death. it was here in primitive Lucania, at the start of the Ethiopian war (19350, that Carlo Levi, doctor, painter, philosopher, and man of letters, was confined as a political prisoner because of his uncompromising opposition to Fascism. Christ Stopped at Eboli is Levi's classic, starkly beautiful account of a place beyond hope and a people abandoned by history.

That Fine Italian Hand
That Fine Italian Hand
Paperback      ISBN: 0805017291

No other people over so long a history have shown a greater knack for survival than the Italians. In this wryly affectionate book, Hofmann reveals his adopted countrymen in all their glorious paradoxes, capturing their national essence as no other book has done since Luigi Barzini's classic, The Italians. The national art of arrangement-- dodging taxes, double-dealing, working only as hard as one must-- is counteracted by Italian inventive genius, gusto for life, fierce individuality, deep family bonds (as well as animosities), and a marvelously hedonistic sophistication.

Venice and Its Jews: 500 Years Since the Founding of the Ghetto
Venice and Its Jews
500 Years Since the Founding of the Ghetto
Paperback      ISBN: 8899765294

-The book marks the 500th anniversary of the creation of the Venice Ghetto -Accompanies a large exhibition currently taking place in Venice at the Palazzo Ducale -Relevant for social and urban historians, as well as all those who are interested in the history of Venice, and Jewish history -Dontatella Calabi will be promoting his book at the 'Beyond the Ghetto' symposium in New York, hosted by the Center for Jewish History, on 18-19 September 2016. 500 years ago in Venice, the first ghetto was born. It was the first of many 'Jewish enclosures' ordained by political powers, such as the Venetian senate. A place of confinement, it soon became an important cosmopolitan and commercial center of the Republic. The architectural structure of its housing, which became extraordinarily high to accommodate the increasing number of inhabitants, is strictly interlaced with Venetian history, economy and culture. As one of the main Jewish centers in Italy and the Mediterranean, Venice played a crucial role in the Jewish world. The Venetian word 'geto' (from 'gettare', to throw away) originated from the sector of Venice where scrap metal accumulated from foundries. This was the area assigned to the Jews. Thus the word, over the course of time, has become a synonym for segregation. "Venice, the Jews, and Europe" exhibition runs in Venice until November 13 2016. Dontatella Calabi will be promoting his book at the 'Beyond the Ghetto' symposium in New York, hosted by the Center for Jewish History, on 18-19 September 2016.

Murder of a Medici Princess
Murder of a Medici Princess
Hardcover      ISBN: 0195314395

In Murder of a Medici Princess, Caroline Murphy illuminates the brilliant life and tragic death of Isabella de Medici, one of the brightest stars in the dazzling world of Renaissance Italy, the daughter of Duke Cosimo I, ruler of Florence and Tuscany.
Murphy is a superb storyteller, and her fast-paced narrative captures the intrigue, the scandal, the romantic affairs, and the violence that were commonplace in the Florentine court. She brings to life an extraordinary woman, fluent in five languages, a free-spirited patron of the arts, a daredevil, a practical joker, and a passionate lover. Isabella, in fact, conducted numerous affairs, including a ten-year relationship with the cousin of her violent and possessive husband. Her permissive lifestyle, however, came to an end upon the death of her father, who was succeeded by her disapproving older brother Francesco. Considering Isabella's ways to be licentious and a disgrace upon the family, he permitted her increasingly enraged husband to murder her in a remote Medici villa. To tell this dramatic story, Murphy draws on a vast trove of newly discovered and unpublished documents, ranging from Isabella's own letters, to the loose-tongued dispatches of ambassadors to Florence, to contemporary descriptions of the opulent parties and balls, salons and hunts in which Isabella and her associates participated. Murphy resurrects the exciting atmosphere of Renaissance Florence, weaving Isabella's beloved city into her story, evoking the intellectual and artistic community that thrived during her time. Palaces and gardens in the city become places of creativity and intrigue, sites of seduction, and grounds for betrayal.
Here then is a narrative of compelling and epic proportions, magnificent and alluring, decadent and ultimately tragic.

Abolitionism and the Persistence of Slavery in Italian States, 1750-1850
Abolitionism and the Persistence of Slavery in Italian States, 1750-1850
Hardcover      ISBN: 3030013480

This volume offers a pioneering study of slavery in the Italian states. Documenting previously unstudied cases of slavery in six Italian cities--Naples, Caserta, Rome, Palermo, Livorno and Genoa--Giulia Bonazza investigates why slavery survived into the middle of the nineteenth century, even as the abolitionist debate raged internationally and most states had abolished it. She contextualizes these cases of residual slavery from 1750-1850, focusing on two juridical and political watersheds: after the Napoleonic period, when the Italian states (with the exception of the Papal States) adopted constitutions outlawing slavery; and after the Congress of Vienna, when diplomatic relations between the Italian states, France and Great Britain intensified and slavery was condemned in terms that covered only the Atlantic slave trade. By excavating the lives of men and women who remained in slavery after abolition, this book sheds new light on the broader Mediterranean and transatlantic dimensions of slavery in the Italian states.

Angelica's Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy
Angelica's Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy
Hardcover      ISBN: 147427031x

Through the lens of a history of material culture mediated by an object, Angelica's Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy investigates aspects of women's lives, culture, ideas and the history of the book in early modern Italy.

Inside a badly damaged copy of Straparola's 16th-century work, Piacevoli Notti, acquired in a Florentine antique shop in 2010, an inscription is found, attributing ownership to a certain Angelica Baldachini. The discovery sets in motion a series of inquiries, deploying knowledge about calligraphy, orthography, linguistics, dialectology and the socio-psychology of writing, to reveal the person behind the name. Focusing as much on the possible owner as upon the thing owned, Angelica's Book examines the genesis of the Piacevoli Notti and its many editions, including the one in question. The intertwined stories of the book and its owner are set against the backdrop of a Renaissance world, still imperfectly understood, in which literature and reading were subject to regimes of control; and the new information throws aspects of this world into further relief, especially in regard to women's involvement with reading, books and knowledge. The inquiry yields unexpected insights concerning the logic of accidental discovery, the nature of evidence, and the mission of the humanities in a time of global crisis.

Angelica's Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy is a thought-provoking read for any scholar of early modern Europe and its culture.

Angelica's Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy
Angelica's Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy
Paperback      ISBN: 135006713x

Through the lens of a history of material culture mediated by an object, Angelica's Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy investigates aspects of women's lives, culture, ideas and the history of the book in early modern Italy.

Inside a badly damaged copy of Straparola's 16th-century work, Piacevoli Notti, acquired in a Florentine antique shop in 2010, an inscription is found, attributing ownership to a certain Angelica Baldachini. The discovery sets in motion a series of inquiries, deploying knowledge about calligraphy, orthography, linguistics, dialectology and the socio-psychology of writing, to reveal the person behind the name. Focusing as much on the possible owner as upon the thing owned, Angelica's Book examines the genesis of the Piacevoli Notti and its many editions, including the one in question. The intertwined stories of the book and its owner are set against the backdrop of a Renaissance world, still imperfectly understood, in which literature and reading were subject to regimes of control; and the new information throws aspects of this world into further relief, especially in regard to women's involvement with reading, books and knowledge. The inquiry yields unexpected insights concerning the logic of accidental discovery, the nature of evidence, and the mission of the humanities in a time of global crisis.

Angelica's Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy is a thought-provoking read for any scholar of early modern Europe and its culture.

Anita Garibaldi: A Biography
Anita Garibaldi
A Biography
Hardcover      ISBN: 0275969371

Illiterate and poor, the daughter of a herdsman in 19th century Brazil, Anita Ribeiro was lifted from a life of obscurity to one that is the stuff of romance and adventure. When she and a young Italian exile by the name of Captain Garibaldi met in 1839, they joined in the cause of founding a Brazilian republic. Later they went on to lead the defense of Montevideo from an Argentine siege--just one episode among many in their idealistic, nationalistic crusade in a time of immense revolutionary upheaval. It was Anita who taught Garibaldi the guerrilla ways of the gauchos, and they lived as man and wife through a series of adventure and wars. Returning to Italy in 1848 to fight for a united republican Italy, as revolution swept throughout Europe, Anita and Garibaldi were tragically separated by her untimely death the following year. Garibaldi went on to ultimate fame as the father of modern Italy--while Anita's story drifted into the mists of legend. This book, the first full biography of the remarkable life of Anita Garibaldi, tells the true story of a fascinating and important woman.