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David Gilmour is one of Britain's most admired and accomplished historical writers and biographers. His previous books include The Last Leopard : A Life of Giuseppe di Lampedusa (winner of the Marsh Biography Award) Curzon (Duff Cooper Prize) and Long Recessional:The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling (Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography).
David Gilmour's elegantly written book is full of impressive insights and can be recommended without hesitation as a stimulating, up-to-date and reliable guide to modern Italian history for the general reader. Gilmour's book displays deep knowledge of Italy and is scholarly but never dense. -- Tony Barber * Financial Times * A highly idiosyncratic meander through the peninsula's history led by a witty guide with an elegant prose style and a mind delightfully furnished with anecdotes and dictums, sensual impressions and conversations. This is a clever and erudite book. -- Lucy Hughes-Hallett * Sunday Telegraph *