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Italy the Least of the Great Powers
Italian Foreign Policy Before the First World War


  • Date Published: December 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521019897

£ 48.99

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About the Authors
  • In the heart of Rome beside the Capitol, confronting the Piazza Venezia, stands the Victor Emmanuel monument. In Rome, which until 1945 was so often accorded the adjectives 'eternal' or 'imperial', the monumentissimo (as sardonic socialists labelled it) is the most public, most theatrical and most excessive architectural celebration of post-Risorgimento Italian patriotism, nationalism and perhaps imperialism. This book asks why the Victor Emmanuel monument, planned after 1878 and opened in 1911, was a structure raised by Liberal and not Fascist Italy. Through a detailed study of diplomacy, of policy-making, of policy-makers, and of the distribution of real power in pre-First World War Italy, it demonstrates how important foreign policy, and a foreign policy of greatness, was to Liberal Italy. Weakened by economic backwardness, regional diversity, and the gulf between the legal-political world and 'real' society, Liberal Italy was nonetheless ambitious to be a Great Power. This monograph contributes to a number of major historiographical debates. It produces evidence which casts doubts on the thesis that fascism was a parenthesis in Italian history.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521019897
    • length: 552 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 154 x 32 mm
    • weight: 0.813kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of maps
    1. Society and politics in Liberal Italy
    2. New political pressure groups and foreign policy
    3. The making of a Foreign Minister: Antonio Di San Giuliano
    4. The Consulta: the bureaucrats of foreign policy
    5. How Italy went to Libya
    6. How Italy stayed in Libya
    7. The politics of alliance: Italy in the Triple Alliance, 1912–1914
    8. The politics of friendship: Italy, the Triple Entente, and the search for a new Mediterranean agreement, 1911–1914
    9. 'Un cliente maleducato': Italy in the Dodecanese and Ethiopia, 1912–1914
    10. Preparing to digest some spoils: Italian policy towards Turkey, 1912–1914
    11. San Giuliano's epilogue: the realities of European war 28 June to 16 October 1914
    Select bibliography

  • Author

    R. J. B. Bosworth, University of Sydney

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