If you are a student, or an enthusiast of Italian matters, this is the book for you. A collection of articles written both by Italians and non-Italians, some easier to read, some more academic, all very interesting.
Both the authors are fellow lecturers in their universities, Forgacs in Cambridge and Lumley at the University College of London, two places among the top in the world for Italian studies. I spend many months a year in London and I always enjoy Cambridge, so I should admit that the workplace of the authors have been influencing my decision to buy the book. Thanks to its size and the variety of articles, it will keep you company for a while.
Again, not a book for an relaxing evening, unless – like me – you are fascinated about the subject. It doesn’t includes any instruction to start an Italian business, nor any explanation to buy a home in Italy. It’s not an easy read for travellers, and – although many articles are entertaining – they are never “easy”.
This is an hard core 384 pages document with maps and detailed analysis. If you are student writing a paper, this could be the only book that you need. If you want to move into a deep understanding of Italy, this is the book to buy. For all the others, I suggest to start with something simpler. For instance, tourists and beginners could start with Italy Culture Smart. History enthusiasts could enjoy A Concise History of Italy first. However – if you are ready to go deep into the Italian culture – pick Italian Cultural Studies and you will not regret. Well, I didn’t.
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