Italian Colonialism
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Italian Colonialism

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Italian Colonialism is a pioneering anthology of texts by scholars from seven countries who represent the best of classical and newer approaches to the study of Italian colonization. Essays on the political, economic, and military aspects of Italian colonialism are featured alongside works that reflect the insights of anthropology, race and gender studies, film, architecture, and oral and cultural history. The volume includes many essays by Italian and African scholars that have never been translated into English. It is a unique resource that offers students and scholars a comprehensive view of the field.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 266 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 17.78mm | 375g
  • Basingstoke, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2005 ed.
  • XXII, 266 p.
  • 0230606369
  • 9780230606364
  • 1,238,930

Table of contents

PART I: CONQUEST AND CONTROL Constructing Italian Africa: Geography and Geopolitics; D.Atkinson The Italian Air Force in the Ethiopian War; G.Rochat Poison Gas and Atrocities in the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935-36; A.Sbacchi Italian Concentration Camps in the Colonies; G.Ottolenghi PART II: MIGRATION, COLONIZATION, CLASS AND STATE FORMATION A Greater Italy: Migration and Colonialism in the Liberal Years; C.Ipsen Italian Settlers in Libya: Newly Examined Archives; F.Cresti Italian Land Policies in Ethiopia; H.Larebo State and Class Formation in Colonized Libya; A.A.Ahmida PART III: PRACTICES OF RULE Italian Educational Policies in Colonial Eritrea; T.Negash Miscegenation and the Construction of Racial Hierarchies in Colonial Eritrea; G.Barrera Mussolini, Libya, and the Sword of Islam; J.L.Wright City Planning and Colonial Control: Italian Approaches; M.Fuller PART IV: CULTURAL REPRESENTATIONS AND CONSUMPTION Fascist Women in Colonial Africa; C.Lombardi-Diop The Italian Colonial Cinema: Agendas and Audiences; R.Ben-Ghiat The Architecture of Tourism in Italian Libya: The Creation of a Mediterranean Identity; B.McLaren Public Space and Public Face at Tripoli's Colonial Trade Fair; K.von Henneberg The Italian Colonial Museum; N.Labanca PART V: LEGACIES OF EMPIRE Colonialism and Oral Memory; I.Taddia Everyday Colonialism: Subaltern Life in Italy's Aegean Possession; N.Doumanis The Consequences of Italian Colonialism in Libya; M.Jerary Italian-Libyan Relations, from the Colonial Era to the Present; A.D.Boca The Italian Colonial Period in Postcolonial Ethiopian Songs; G.Megerssa Chronology of Italian Colonialism
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Review Text

"Though twentieth century Italy was its own way as aggressively ambitious and imperialist as France or Britain, the Italian colonial experience is practically unknown to English speakers. This book brings to life the sad paradoxes of Italy's self-styled proletarian imperialism. Here, readers will find fresh documentation on the desert concentration camps where colonial conquerors interned hundreds of thousands of Libyan nomads, new details about the tons of poison gas bombs dropped to subdue Ethiopia in 1935, vivid treatment of the New Rome's plans to renew Tripoli and build model settlements in Somalia, and sharp analysis of the colonial films created to celebrate the Italian Empire. The most telling episode, perhaps, is the pathetic fate of the unemployed colonizers of this mean-spirited imperialism on the cheap, by the eve of World War II reduced to begging food from the very people they had conquered. Gathering the expertise of fully twenty African, Italian, and American specialists, Ben-Ghiat and Fuller's volume gives us an all-embracing history of Italy's unedifying quest for its 'place in the sun.'" - Victoria de Grazia, Columbia University, author, Irresistible Empire: America's Advance through Twentieth Century Europe

"Italian Colonialism offers a fascinating introduction to a subject that has for too long been ignored. Detailing episodes ranging from quasi-genocidal practices in north Africa to the wide use of chemical warfare in East Africa, it reveals a part of Italy's history that Italians today are happy to forget. At the same time it goes beyond ideological bromides to offer a more complex view of the colonial encounter. Through highly readable chapters by many of the major scholars in the field, the book puts both Italian history and the history of European colonialism in a new light." - David Kertzer, Paul Dupee Professor of Social Sciences, Brown University
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Review quote

"Though twentieth century Italy was its own way as aggressively ambitious and imperialist as France or Britain, the Italian colonial experience is practically unknown to English speakers. This book brings to life the sad paradoxes of Italy's self-styled proletarian imperialism. Here, readers will find fresh documentation on the desert concentration camps where colonial conquerors interned hundreds of thousands of Libyan nomads, new details about the tons of poison gas bombs dropped to subdue Ethiopia in 1935, vivid treatment of the New Rome's plans to renew Tripoli and build model settlements in Somalia, and sharp analysis of the colonial films created to celebrate the Italian Empire. The most telling episode, perhaps, is the pathetic fate of the unemployed colonizers of this mean-spirited imperialism on the cheap, by the eve of World War II reduced to begging food from the very people they had conquered. Gathering the expertise of fully twenty African, Italian, and American specialists, Ben-Ghiat and Fuller's volume gives us an all-embracing history of Italy's unedifying quest for its 'place in the sun.'" - Victoria de Grazia, Columbia University, author, Irresistible Empire: America's Advance through Twentieth Century Europe



"Italian Colonialism offers a fascinating introduction to a subject that has for too long been ignored. Detailing episodes ranging from quasi-genocidal practices in north Africa to the wide use of chemical warfare in East Africa, it reveals a part of Italy's history that Italians today are happy to forget. At the same time it goes beyond ideological bromides to offer a more complex view of the colonial encounter. Through highly readable chapters by many of the major scholars in the field, the book puts both Italian history and the history of European colonialism in a new light." - David Kertzer, Paul Dupee Professor of Social Sciences, Brown University
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About Ruth Ben-Ghiat

RUTH BEN-GHIAT is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at New York University, USA.

MIA FULLER is Assistant Professor of Italian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, USA.
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