Between Salt Water and Holy Water by Tommaso Astarita
A History of Southern Italy

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Synopsis

“Lucid, evocative, and richly detailed.”—Jay Parini, author of The Apprentice Lover

The history of southern Italy is entirely distinct from that of northern Italy, yet it has never been given its own historical due. In this authoritative and wholly engrossing history, distinguished scholar Tommaso Astarita “does a masterful job of correcting this error” (Mark Knoblauch, Booklist). From the Normans and Angevins, through Spanish and Bourbon rule, to the unification of Italy in 1860, Astarita rescues the South from the dustier folds of history and restores it to sparkling life. We are introduced to the freethinking, cosmopolitan King Frederick, who conferred with Jewish and Muslim philosophers; to Masaniello, “the fisherman of Naples,” who inspired artists and revolutionaries across Europe; and to the colorful religious observances, diverse population, ancient ruins, beautiful landscapes, sweet music, and magnificent art—all of which inspired visitors to claim that one had to “see Naples, and then die.”
 

About Tommaso Astarita

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Tommaso Astarita is a professor of history at Georgetown University. He is a native Neapolitan and currently lives in Washington, DC.
 
Published July 17, 2005 by W. W. Norton & Company. 352 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Southern Italy is now a national afterthought, though Astarita has hopes that “in the future there will no longer be room to doubt that this ancient land is indeed fully part of an integrated Europe.” There’s much drama possible in the many stories Astarita passes along as he offers up his portra...

May 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Between Salt Water and Holy W...

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