Italian Themes


This compilation features books of the Central European University Press, published since its establishment in 1993, that have some relevance to Italy, its history and culture. After the latest release, titles in the backlist are arranged by content: contemporary topics are on top, older themes below. For more substantial information about the content and availability, please click on the covers of the book, or on the links inserted into the citations.

“Victorious in the war, the Italian nation declined into chaotic postwar revolutionary turmoil: the biennio rosso. The country became bastion of leading demagogues who preached hatred against the organized working class and the socialists. The revolutionary chaos was followed by the preemptive fascist counter-revolution of Benito Mussolini.” This volume discusses eighteen populists from twelve European countries over the past hundred years. “Italy possessed an unusually large number of self-employed citizens—small business owners who continually aspired to avoid taxation. They admired Berlusconi and tried to emulate his successes in this domain, and wholeheartedly believed in the promise of his leadership.” “He explained: ‘Perhaps one of us has stolen the fiancée of the presiding judge. Such things happen to us, because we’re well known to be tombeurs des femmes.’ The 5-foot, 5-inch-tall Berlusconi loved to speak about sex, and his audience loved to hear about it too.”

“In Italy’s northeasternmost region, Friuli Venezia Giulia, hardly anyone denied the long-term negative consequences of their peripheral geopolitical context for the socioeconomic development of the region after its 1918 annexation by Italy.”—from a book on labor history during the Cold War era. “Italian and Yugoslav partisans had commonly fought against Nazi occupation. After the end of the war, many workers in cities like Trieste and Monfalcone looked upon Titoist communism with interest and benevolence.” “Three instances of public riots during workers’ protests at the San Marco shipyard in Trieste seem significant for the strikes in Rijeka and Koper: these occurred in 1966, in 1968, and in 1969.” “Many on the Western European left were fascinated with the Yugoslav model of self-management, a potentially viable ‘third way’ between Western-style capitalisms and Soviet-style planned economies.”

Titles from the backlist, contemporary topics on top, older themes below.

Bush: The outpouring of friendship for you in Italy was wonderful. It came through on our television.

Gorbachev: In Italy, I saw a lot of products and few customers. In our country, it is the opposite. We are moving toward private property. Our eventual goal is to make all these enterprises act within the market. In Italy, Soviet businesses operate in just this way. (December, 1989) Sentences taken from the last face-to-face conversations of Cold War leaders. Bush: But you and I must take care to consult with our smaller NATO partners. Kohl: Yes. Bush: Genscher made this statement to the Italians in Ottawa: ‘You’re not in the game.’ This offended Italy, and some of the other guys. Genscher must be sensitive. Kohl: I totally agree. I wasn’t in Ottawa, but I had to take some of the consequences of Genscher’s act. And I didn’t like it. It was totally unnecessary. It’s not my style either. I have to do a master resuscitation with Andreotti and the others. (February, 1990)

Further titles with relevance to Italian history and culture, going forwards in time: