Silvio Berlusconi by Paul Ginsborg
Television, Power and Patrimony

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Silvio Berlusconi, a self-made man with a taste for luxurious living, owner of a huge television empire and, most recently, the man who likened a German MEP to a Nazi concentration-camp guard—small wonder that much of democratic Europe and America has responded with considerable dismay and disdain to his governance of Italy.

Paul Ginsborg, contemporary Italy’s foremost historian, explains here why we should take Berlusconi seriously. His new book combines historical narrative Berlusconi’s childhood in the dyna-mic and paternalist Milanese bourgeoisie, his strict religious schooling, a working life which has encompassed crooning, large construction projects and the creation of a commercial television empirewith careful analysis of Berlusconi’s political development.

While never forgetting the italianita of Berlusconi’s trajectory, he argues that the Italian example is highly instructive for all modern societies. What Berlusconi represents—the relationship between the media system and politics, the nature of personal dominion at a time of crisis in representative democracy, the connection between the consumer world, families and politics, and the exploitation of the wide-open spaces left by the strategic weaknesses of modern left-wing politics—are, Ginsborg suggests, near-universal.

About Paul Ginsborg

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Author of the highly acclaimed books A History of Contemporary Italy and Italy and Its Discontents, Paul Ginsborg teaches history at Florence University.
Published June 1, 2004 by Verso. 160 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Having had the misfortune of more than 50 governments in the postwar era, Italy is often seen as the politically bumbling least of the great powers, thus obscuring the significance of its current prime minister.

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London Review of Books

A commission was created to purge left-wing interpretations of 20th-century Italian history from school textbooks, and a senator from Forza Italia, Berlusconi’s party, proposed to mark 9 November as a national holiday: the day when, in 1926, ‘17 Communist members of parliament had been arrested a...

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