Synopses & Reviews
This book is the first comprehensive post-war history of one of Europe's most vibrant cities throughout an extraordinary period of social, cultural and economic change. The capital of Italy's economic miracle of the 1950s and 60s, Milan was a magnet for immigrants, as industry, design and culture created a heady mix of wealth, innovation and conflict. By the 1980s, heavy industry had all but disappeared and the city had reinvented itself as the world capital of fashion and a dynamic post-industrial metropolis. Meanwhile, the urban landscape was darkened by the bleak estates of the peripheries and the corruption scandals that exploded in what became known as 'Tangentopoli', or Bribesville.
This fascinating book traces Milan's 'biography' through its buildings, design, fashion, cinema, families, immigrants and television. The city emerges as a potent economic power-house and laboratory for change, where art and culture converge in a modern but problematic urban space. Anyone interested in Italian history, urban studies or the future of Europe's cities will find this book an essential read.
"A pathbreaking book, drawing from a range of academic disciplines, which analyses in compelling fashion the history and culture of one of Europe's great cities." --Paul Ginsborg, University of Florence
"John Foot's remarkable book reveals the many facets of a major European city over the last half-century, from the industrial growth and labour migrations of the 1950s and 1960s to the deindustrialisation, economic restructuring and new immigration of the 1990s. Milan's transition to fashion and design capital in a globalised economy is examined alongside an analysis of the degradation of its suburbs and the images of the city generated by cinema and fiction. What emerges is a unique in-depth study which will be indispensable for anyone who wants to makes sense of our changing urban landscapes." --Professor David Forgacs, University College London
"A rare book ... unique." --Corriere della Sera
"(The author is) the only historian who has taken the trouble to tell the story of Milan over the last one fifty years ... The book uses a mosaic-like structure which renders it extremely easy for the general reader, as well as for the specialist." --Vogue Uomo
"As well as making fascinating reading, the book stimulates new ideas and offers new incentives for research, and I do not think that any more could be asked of it." --Reviews in History
"The first book of its kind about Europe's most complex metropolis." --Pàp Magazine
"[This is a ] well-researched, well-written new study ... Drawing on a rich array of demographic, economic, political and artistic source materials, Foot offers a kaleidoscopic overview of Italy's largest metropolis." --Choice
"The object of much attention ... and rightly so because the english historian ... whilst telling the story of this city which has been at the centre of all the important changes, good and gad, of our country, ends up telling the story of Italy." --La Stampa
"This [is a] fine book." --Il Riformista
"[This book] forces everyone to stop chattering and take responsibility for our actions ... a wide-ranging piece of research ... complete ... a global and human vision of the city ... a precious book." --Il Giorno
"An excellent, even ground-breaking, study of one of Italy's most enigmatic and powerful cities ... John Foot has succeeded in lifting much of the fog from our understanding of Milan; and for this he should be roundly congratulated." --Modern Italy
"A fascinating and tensely loving account of the city's emergence as one of the most significant political and economic zones of Europea ... accessibly written, it should appeal to an audience beyond the university, but would also ... be well-received by an undergraduate audience ... opens up numerous sharp angles on contemporary urban life ... this rich study - read imaginatively and critically - will, I hope, place Milan into a more significant location with urban studies." --Space and Polity
"A fine, complex and original book; an example of new urban history, attentive to anthropological aspects of the city ... [it] accumulates a mix of illuminating material, taken from the studies of architects and sociologists as well as scenes from films shot in Milan." --L'Espresso
About the Author
Dr. John Foot
is a Research Fellow, at the University College London.