THIS VOLUME traces the history of Naples in the “tragic centuries” between the collapse of the Parthenopean Republic and the restoration of the Bourbons to the end of World War II. It then picks up the history of Naples as it began its slow and uncertain recovery from the depredations of Unification, the destruction of war, and the urban corruption and environmental degradation of Italy’s post-war economic “miracle.”
The author presents 229 documents within the context of a larger, and continuous, narrative of the city’s history, society, and economy during these centuries. Sources include narrative histories, travelers’ accounts and diaries; urban descriptions and analyses; the letters of famous and the ordinary citizens; newspaper and magazine articles; interviews and surveys; oral histories; official narrative, statistical reports and legislation; political oratory; novels, poetry, song, and visual arts.
Topics include the image of Naples at the end of the 18th-century Grand Tour; the revolution of 1799, the Bourbon restoration and its aftermath; the social and political developments of the 19th-century leading to the revolution of 1848 and the Risorgimento; the place of Naples within a unified Italy; and the catastrophes of the 20th century, including epidemic, fascism and world wars, the rise of the Camorra, and the social and political corruption of the post-war era. The readings conclude with texts documenting recent reforms and new economic and social directions that could point to a sustained renewal of Neapolitan life.
Foreword, Preface, Introduction, Notes, Chronology, Bibliography, and Index.
374 pp., 168 illustrations, 3 maps, 229 readings.