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Material Nation: A Consumer's History of Modern Italy


Material Nation: A Consumer's History of Modern Italy Cover


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Publisher Comments:

In this fresh, unfamiliar, and sometimes surprising picture of modern Italy, history is refracted through the prism of the nation's consumer culture.

What were Italians eating and drinking over this period? Where did they live? What did they do in their leisure time? What did they choose to spend their spare money on? And how did this differ between different economic classes and over time? From the battle against poverty conducted by the first liberal governments of a united Italy, to fascist autarchy, up to the emergence of welfare policies and today's multifaceted society, Scarpellini looks at how the material culture associated with consumption has structured Italian life and defined the boundaries of class, gender, generations, and regional differences, inspiring government policies, and influencing the worlds of art and literature.

Keeping a constant eye on wider historical trends, both in Italy and internationally, the book looks at how the basic triad of consumer culture (food, housing, and clothing) slowly developed into a more complex pattern, incorporating transport, domestic appliances, and then electronics, communications, and fashion.

Combining economic and cultural history with a vivid narrative style, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of modern Italy and of consumption more generally in the last century and a half.

About the Author

Emanuela Scarpellini is Professor of Modern History at the University of Milan. She was a visiting scholar at Stanford University and Cambridge University, and has also been a Visiting Professor at both Stanford and Georgetown universities.

Table of Contents


Part I: Liberal Italy

1. Italian Society from Unification to the Belle Epoque

2. The State and Public Consumption

3. The World of Production

4. Commercial Spaces

Part II: Fascism

5. The Regime

6. Daily Life Under Fascism

Part III: The Economic Miracle

7. Society During the Golden Age of Capitalism

8. Politics, Culture, and Welfare State

9. Advertising and Production

10. Large-scale Distribution and 'American' Supermarkets

Part IV: The Affluent Society

11. Impact of the Consumer Society

12. Everyday Life Today


Product Details

Scarpellini, Emanuela
Oxford University Press, USA
null, Emanuela
History, World | European | Italy
World History-Italy
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
6.4 x 9.3 x 1.1 in 1.519 lb

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Related Subjects

Children's » Classics » General
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Italy

Material Nation: A Consumer's History of Modern Italy New Hardcover
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Product details 352 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199589579 Reviews:
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