Italian Venice: A History

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Is Venice relevant? This history starts in 1866, when Venice becomes part of Italy. The conflicting dreams of rich and poor play out in the liberalism of the end of the nineteenth century, becoming a playground city for the artistic elite prior to WWI. The Great War affects Venice badly; many of her sons die on foreign battlefields. However, even then the city seems removed from the worst of the battles. The old patterns of wealth inequality re-emerge before the imposition of Fascism on the city by Mussolini and the last doge of Venice, Volpi. The city weathers WWII because it is historic and is spared the bombing of the allies or the rapacious looting of the Nazis. Finally, the author chronicles the city into modern times, with its shrinking population, environmental challenges, and struggle for identity in a modern world.

This book is very detailed. Elections, renovations, art commissions, and political leaders abound in its pages. The author seems to bludgeon the reader with history in an effort to make the history meaningful. While an interesting read, it is hard to pick out a reason for Venice to be considered much more than the Disneyland of the art world.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Yale University Press
Publish Date 2014-Sep-30
ISBN 9780300193879 Buy this Book
Issue March 2015
Category History


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