Paul Ginsborg's bestselling account of contemporary Italy chronicles this most recent and dynamic period in the county's history. He examines the role of the family in Italian society and its economy (a keystone in his interpretation), the insidious presence of the Mafia, the lasting influence of Catholicism, the importance of football and television in mass culture, as well as its often unstable politics.
In 1992 the country seemed about to make a fresh start as widespread judicial enquiries led to the disgracing of the ruling political parties. It was not to be. Ginsborg brings Italy's agitated political history right up to date to cover the victory of the controversial figure of Silvio Berlusconi in the elections of 2001.