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Numbers and Nationhood

Numbers and Nationhood
Writing Statistics in Nineteenth-Century Italy

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Italian History and Culture

  • Date Published: December 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521522601

$ 42.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Numbers and Nationhood explores the rise of statistics as a mode of representation in Italian society during the nineteenth century. Silvana Patriarca examines the ideologies that informed numerical productions, and the role that statistics played in generating a national image of Italy that nevertheless accentuated its internal territorial divisions. This innovative study provides a fresh reading of the historiography of Risorgimento Italy, bringing issues of science, ideology and representation to the fore.

    • Gives a fresh look at Risorgimento Italy by examining issues of representation and national image
    • Combines sociopolitical history and textual analysis of statistics
    • Stresses the relations between politics and the 'objectifying power' of statistics
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    • Winner of the Marraro Prize of the American Historical Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Patriarca's book makes a fine and useful contribution to scholarly understanding of the development of statistics in the political world of unifying and unified Italy." Carl Ipsen, American Historical Review

    "...impressive integration of intellectual, administrative, and political history..." Libby Schweber, Jrnl of Interdisciplinary History

    "Silvan Patriarca's Numbers and Nationhood is an important contribution to a dynamic and growing literature on the history of European statistical writings in the modern period. The great virtue of Patriarca's work is thus to illustrate the variety of ideological positions that oriented themselves around statistical portraits of the Italian nation in the nineteenth century, remaining ever attentive to the complexity of that elusive nexus between knowledge and power in the modern world." Joshua Cole, Journal of Modern History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521522601
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.462kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the history of statistics between state making and objectifications
    2. A science for 'civilized' countries: practitioners, audiences and theories of statistics, 1820s–50s
    3. Statistical description: between epistemology and politics
    4. Making public numbers: official statistics in the pre-unification monarchies
    5. Building the nation's body: 'patriotic statistics' representation of Italy
    6. The identity of the Italians, or the ambiguities of moral statistics
    7. Representing the new nation (1861–71)
    8. A nation of Communes in a Europe of nationalities: the statistical Congress of Florence
    Epilogue: measurable and unmeasurable things.

  • Author

    Silvana Patriarca, Columbia University, New York


    • Winner of the Marraro Prize of the American Historical Association

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