New Books Network

Barbara Spackman, “Accidental Orientalists: Modern Italian Travelers in Ottoman Lands” (Liverpool UP, 2017)
Barbara Spackman’s riveting study identifies a strand of what it calls “Accidental Orientalism” in narratives by Italians who found themselves in Ottoman Egypt and Anatolia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Relocated, or “de-toured” by historical accident, these travelers wrote about their experiences in Italian, English, and French.... Read More
Stephanie Malia Hom, “Empire’s Mobius Strip: Historical Echoes in Italy’s Crisis of Migration and Detention” (Cornell UP, 2019)
Italy’s current crisis of Mediterranean migration and detention has its roots in early twentieth century imperial ambitions. Stephanie Malia Hom‘s new book Empire’s Mobius Strip: Historical Echoes in Italy’s Crisis of Migration and Detention (Cornell University Press, 2019) investigates how mobile populations were perceived to be major threats to Italian... Read More
Mike Duncan, “The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic” (PublicAffairs, 2017)
The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. Beginning as a small city-state in central Italy, Rome gradually expanded into a wider world filled with petty tyrants, barbarian chieftains, and despotic kings. Through the centuries, Rome’s model of cooperative and participatory government remained... Read More
Elena Past, “Italian Ecocinema: Beyond the Human” (Indiana UP, 2019)
Elena Past’s recently published Italian Ecocinema: Beyond the Human (Indiana University Press, 2019) studies a complex of issues surrounding on-location films made in Italy and the way their production leaves lasting, material traces on the environment. The films span a number of regions and ecospheres within Italy: the Adriatic, site... Read More
Gerry Milligan, “Moral Combat: Women, Gender and War in Italian Renaissance Literature” (U Toronto Press, 2018)
Gerry Milligan’s Moral Combat: Women, Gender and War in Italian Renaissance Literature (University of Toronto Press, 2018) takes as its subject the woman warrior in early modern Italy as she was and as she was represented across varied types of texts, both literary and historical. What emerges is a discursive construction... Read More
Jeremy Black, “A Brief History of Italy” (Robinson, 2019)
Despite the Roman Empire’s 500-year reign over Europe, parts of Africa and the Middle East, Italy does not have the same long national history as states such as France or England. Divided for much of its history, Italy’s regions have been, at various times, parts of bigger, often antagonistic empires,... Read More
William Caferro, “Petrarch’s War: Florence and the Black Death in Context” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
In 1349 the City-Republic of Florence had just endured a horrific epidemic of bubonic plague, that contagion that became known as the Black Death. Nevertheless, despite the effects upon both their population and treasury, they marshaled their resources to fight the Ubaldini clan who dominated the mountain passes through the... Read More