The greatness of Italy's culture and way of life have had a powerful attraction for many generations of visitors. This has created an overwhelming sense that Italy is a fundamentally benign and easy going country. The Force of Destiny, Christopher Duggan's immensely enjoyable new book, lays waste to this idea. While sharing everyone's enthusiasm for Italy as a place, he strongly distinguishes this from its political role over the past two centuries, which has been both vicious and ruinous for Europe as a whole.
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