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Italy Today

Facing the Challenges of the New Millennium

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Mario B. Mignone

Italy Today is a concise narrative of the nation’s stunning transformation from the ashes of World War II to the leading economic and cultural power it is today. This book provides insights into the dynamics of Italy’s progression from the Second World War, through the anthropologically revolutionary 1970s and ’80s, and into the complexities of a postindustrial nation, negotiating the challenges created by industrial, economic, and cultural globalization. Encompassing the cultural, political, and economic spectrums, topics include: communism; socialism; foreign relations; terrorism; industrial and social transformations; education; emigration and immigration; family tradition; feminism; the transformation of class and gender roles; political favoritism and corruption; popular culture; culture and civil society; the broader problems of the development of civil society and the rule of law in southern Italy; and the role of politics in shaping contemporary Italy. The book devotes particular attention to the controversial issues of the role of the family in Italian society and economy, the insidious presence of the Mafia, the lasting influence of Catholicism, the impact of television, and the country’s often unstable politics, framing all these as the result of a complex and unique relationship between the individual and the state, with the family acting as intermediary. Four major sections analyze politics, the economy, society, and mass culture, and comprise a portrait of contemporary Italy that will appeal to a broad range of scholars, students, and general readers.