The Italians

The Italians

3.57 (697 ratings by Goodreads)
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A vivid and surprising portrait of the Italian people from an admired foreign correspondent How did a nation that spawned the Renaissance also produce the Mafia? And why does Italian have twelve words for coat hanger but none for hangover? John Hooper s entertaining and perceptive new book is the ideal companion for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Italy and the unique character of the Italians. Fifteen years as a foreign correspondent based in Rome have sharpened Hooper s observations, and he looks at the facts that lie behind the stereotypes, shedding new light on everything from the Italians bewildering politics to their love of life and beauty. Hooper persuasively demonstrates the impact of geography, history, and tradition on many aspects of Italian life, including football and Freemasonry, sex, food, and opera. Brimming with the kind of fascinating and often hilarious insights unavailable in guidebooks, "The Italians" will surprise even the most die-hard Italophile."show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 33.02mm | 521.63g
  • New York
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0525428070
  • 9780525428077
  • 311,212

Review quote

Hooper s book, both sweeping in scope and generous with detail, makes persuasive arguments for how geography, history and tradition have shaped Italy and its citizens, for better and sometimes for worse.... The Italians offers a wealth of information seasoned Italophiles will appreciate, but it also deals with some of the inscrutabilities that baffle casual visitors. Elisabetta Povoled, "New York Times Book Review" "John Hooper is a supremely able and experienced foreign correspondent who has mastered a particular subgenre of his craft: the detailed and comprehensive study of individual countries....It is an admirable piece of work, unassuming but authoritative. If Hooper really were a diplomat instead of a reporter, it would surely earn him his knighthood." JanMorris, "Literary Review" One of the things that makes "The Italians" such a delight to read is that Hooper seems to believe that the Italian people are an enigma that can never be satisfactorily solved. "Dallas Morning News" [John Hooper s] book is both valuable and readable, a lucid and elegantly flowing description of a people. "Financial Times ""Hooper's range is vast and this highly readable and sparling account of Italy and its people.... Essential reading for all those who want to know more about Italy and it shows once again that we need foreign correspondents who can interpret and report on the world for us." "Times Literary Supplement" What's not to love? A thoroughly researched, well-written, ageless narrative of a fascinating people. "Kirkus, "starred review This is a fascinating study of the fundamentals and foibles of Italy s people. "Publishers Weekly" Hooper offers personal experiences and anecdotes from his many years living in Italy, creating a readable and entertaining work Recommended for casual readers eager to learn more about Italian culture and people. "Library Journal" A sophisticated portrait of the Italians at their best and their worst: charming, imaginative, generous, full of life but also unreliable, more or less corrupt and often downright infuriating. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the humorous twists Mr. Hooper has put to his very perceptive analyses. A worthy and long-overdue successor to Luigi Barzini s classic "The Italians."" Andrea Di Robilant, author of "A Venetian Affair" John Hooper takes his readers deep into the Italian labyrinth. And they come out alive, with a smile on their faces! A remarkable achievement. Beppe Severgnini, author of "Ciao America" and "La Bella Figura" In vivid and fluid prose, John Hooper has written an indispensible guide to life in Italy past and present. His incisive portrait, at turns hard-hitting and affectionate, reveals the Italians in all their complexity, from their dolce vita and transcendent art to their gut-wrenching social and political struggles. Joseph Luzzi, author of "My Two Italies" Thanks to his great curiosity, his splendid comparative and analytical perspective, and a fine eye for telling details, John Hooper gets under the skin of a fascinating people in a remarkable and compelling way. Bill Emmott, co-author of the documentary about Italy Girlfriend in a Coma Here is the history, passion, culture, and contradictions that make Italy and Italians so fascinating. John Hooper's "The Italians" is as enjoyable to read as taking a trip to my favorite country! Ann Hood, author of "An Italian Wife" People who don t know Italy will find this book a splendid introduction. Those who know and love the country will find much that is new as well as familiar, much that will have them nodding in agreement, some observations that will meet with the response, 'not to my mind'. It deserves to sit happily on the bookshelf beside Barzini; and that is high praise. Allan Massie, "The Scotsman" The author, with the fluency of the well-informed journalist, writes as he might speak in conversation over dinner, never delving too deeply into any topic but ready with relevant comment on almost everything [he] has written an amusing and engrossing account of a thoroughly irresponsible nation. Brian Sewell, ""The Independent on Sunday" " John Hooper refuses to succumb to easy cliche while explaining the best and worst of Italy. John Kampfner, ""The Observer" " A fascinating, affectionate and well-researched study that delivers the tantalising flavour of a country as hot, cold, bitter and sweet as an affogato. Christian House, " "The Telegraph "(UK) " Hooper deftly derives a lacerating generalisation from a pungent anecdote.... This 300-page book is fuelled by scores of cracking yarns. Richard Morrison, ""The Times "(UK) ""show more

About John Hooper

John Hooper is the Italy correspondent of the "Economist" and the southern Europe editor of the "Guardian" (London). He has also written or broadcast for the BBC, NBC, and Reuters. His book"The Spaniards"won the Allen Lane Award and was revised and updated as"The New Spaniards"in 1995 and 2006."show more

Rating details

697 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 14% (98)
4 40% (279)
3 37% (257)
2 7% (50)
1 2% (13)
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