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Garibaldi: Invention of a Hero

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian revolutionary leader and popular hero, was among the best-known figures of the nineteenth century. This book seeks to examine his life and the making of his cult, to assess its impact, and understand its surprising success.

For thirty years Garibaldi was involved in every combative event in Italy. His greatest moment came in 1860, when he defended a revolution in Sicily and provoked the collapse of the Bourbon monarchy, the overthrow of papal power in central Italy, and the creation of the Italian nation state. It made him a global icon, representing strength, bravery, manliness, saintliness, and a spirit of adventure. Handsome, flamboyant, and sexually attractive, he was worshiped in life and became a cult figure after his death in 1882.

Lucy Riall shows that the emerging cult of Garibaldi was initially conceived by revolutionaries intent on overthrowing the status quo, that it was also the result of a collaborative effort involving writers, artists, actors, and publishers, and that it became genuinely and enduringly popular among a broad public. The book demonstrates that Garibaldi played an integral part in fashioning and promoting himself as a new kind of “charismatic” political hero. It analyzes the way the Garibaldi myth has been harnessed both to legitimize and to challenge national political structures. And it identifies elements of Garibaldis political style appropriated by political leaders around the world, including Mussolini and Che Guevara.

Review:

"With his trademark red cape, full beard and regal bearing, Italian revolutionary hero Giuseppe Garibaldi cut a swashbuckling swath through European politics during the mid-19th century. In Riall's (Sicily and the Unification of Italy) exhaustive and sometimes exhausting study of this supremely charismatic man and his tumultuous times, Garibaldi's life and legacy echo through the fascist dictators of the 20th century to the Marxist revolutionaries of the 1970s. Born in Nice in 1807, Garibaldi lived a peripatetic life until he "discovered his true vocation — not as a (failed) merchant sailor nor as a (outlawed) political conspirator, but as a soldier hero" and returned to Italy in 1848, a year of widespread political upheaval in Europe. The Italy that Riall describes is a conflicted place seething with nationalist fervor, waiting for a hero to fan the flames and lead the people to their rightful place among nations. As much a product of behind-the-scenes manipulations as his own desires and ambitions, Garibaldi became that hero. A deeply researched and resourced scholarly text, this is not for the general reader. Riall's extensive use of contemporary primary source material makes for some heavy sledding. Still, for the 19th-century European history buff or the revolutionary hero completist, this is a useful and illuminating read. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'With his trademark red cape, full beard and regal bearing, Italian revolutionary hero Giuseppe Garibaldi cut a swashbuckling swath through European politics during the mid-19th century. In Riall's (Sicily and the Unification of Italy) exhaustive and sometimes exhausting study of this supremely charismatic man and his tumultuous times, Garibaldi's life and legacy echo through the fascist dictators of the 20th century to the Marxist revolutionaries of the 1970s. Born in Nice in 1807, Garibaldi lived a peripatetic life until he 'discovered his true vocation — not as a (failed) merchant sailor nor as a (outlawed) political conspirator, but as a soldier hero' and returned to Italy in 1848, a year of widespread political upheaval in Europe. The Italy that Riall describes is a conflicted place seething with nationalist fervor, waiting for a hero to fan the flames and lead the people to their rightful place among nations. As much a product of behind-the-scenes manipulations as his own desires and ambitions, Garibaldi became that hero. A deeply researched and resourced scholarly text, this is not for the general reader. Riall's extensive use of contemporary primary source material makes for some heavy sledding. Still, for the 19th-century European history buff or the revolutionary hero completist, this is a useful and illuminating read. (June)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian revolutionary leader and popular hero, was among the best-known figures of the 19th century. This book examines his life and the making of his cult-like following, assesses its impact, and chronicles its surprising success.

About the Author

Lucy Riall is professor of modern European history at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her publications include The Italian Risorgimento: State, Society and National Unification and Sicily and the Unification of Italy: Liberal Policy and Local Power (1859-66).

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300112122
Subtitle:
Invention of a Hero
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Author:
Riall, Lucy
Subject:
General
Subject:
Generals
Subject:
Statesmen
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Garibaldi, Giuseppe
Subject:
Italy History 1870-1914.
Subject:
Historical
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20081020
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
33 b/w illus.
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
156 x 234 in 2.1 lb

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Drafting
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Drawing and Design
History and Social Science » World History » General

Garibaldi: Invention of a Hero
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Product details 496 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300112122 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With his trademark red cape, full beard and regal bearing, Italian revolutionary hero Giuseppe Garibaldi cut a swashbuckling swath through European politics during the mid-19th century. In Riall's (Sicily and the Unification of Italy) exhaustive and sometimes exhausting study of this supremely charismatic man and his tumultuous times, Garibaldi's life and legacy echo through the fascist dictators of the 20th century to the Marxist revolutionaries of the 1970s. Born in Nice in 1807, Garibaldi lived a peripatetic life until he "discovered his true vocation — not as a (failed) merchant sailor nor as a (outlawed) political conspirator, but as a soldier hero" and returned to Italy in 1848, a year of widespread political upheaval in Europe. The Italy that Riall describes is a conflicted place seething with nationalist fervor, waiting for a hero to fan the flames and lead the people to their rightful place among nations. As much a product of behind-the-scenes manipulations as his own desires and ambitions, Garibaldi became that hero. A deeply researched and resourced scholarly text, this is not for the general reader. Riall's extensive use of contemporary primary source material makes for some heavy sledding. Still, for the 19th-century European history buff or the revolutionary hero completist, this is a useful and illuminating read. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'With his trademark red cape, full beard and regal bearing, Italian revolutionary hero Giuseppe Garibaldi cut a swashbuckling swath through European politics during the mid-19th century. In Riall's (Sicily and the Unification of Italy) exhaustive and sometimes exhausting study of this supremely charismatic man and his tumultuous times, Garibaldi's life and legacy echo through the fascist dictators of the 20th century to the Marxist revolutionaries of the 1970s. Born in Nice in 1807, Garibaldi lived a peripatetic life until he 'discovered his true vocation — not as a (failed) merchant sailor nor as a (outlawed) political conspirator, but as a soldier hero' and returned to Italy in 1848, a year of widespread political upheaval in Europe. The Italy that Riall describes is a conflicted place seething with nationalist fervor, waiting for a hero to fan the flames and lead the people to their rightful place among nations. As much a product of behind-the-scenes manipulations as his own desires and ambitions, Garibaldi became that hero. A deeply researched and resourced scholarly text, this is not for the general reader. Riall's extensive use of contemporary primary source material makes for some heavy sledding. Still, for the 19th-century European history buff or the revolutionary hero completist, this is a useful and illuminating read. (June)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian revolutionary leader and popular hero, was among the best-known figures of the 19th century. This book examines his life and the making of his cult-like following, assesses its impact, and chronicles its surprising success.
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