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America and the Reconstruction of Italy, 1945–1948
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America's special relationship with Italy took form during the years 1945 to 1948. The postwar reconstruction period witnessed an intense struggle to determine the new Italy's political and economic orientation. By virtue of their physical presence, ambitions, and evident strategic interests in Italy, the Americans aspired to play an active part in the internal political contest and ideological debate. Professor Harper's book explores the American role in Italy from the end of the war until the decisive elections of 1948, setting forth its objectives, contradictions, and fundamental limitations. Concentrating on U.S. aid and the economic policies, Professor Harper skilfully traces the attempts of different parties within the U.S. government to build ties to their respective Italian counterparts to bring about basic changes in the Italian political economy. Those alliances remained largely inchoate as, despite their considerable power, the Americans lacked the intellectual preparation and diplomatic leverage to carry out their designs.

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