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Publisher's Summary

"Sicily," said Goethe, "is the key to everything." It is the largest island in the Mediterranean, the stepping-stone between Europe and Africa, the link between the Latin West and the Greek East. Sicily's strategic location has tempted Roman emperors, French princes, and Spanish kings. The subsequent struggles to conquer and keep it have played crucial roles in the rise and fall of the world's most powerful dynasties.
Yet Sicily has often been little more than a footnote in books about other empires. Here is a vivid, erudite chronicle of an island and the remarkable kings, queens, and tyrants who fought to rule it. From its beginnings as a Greek city-state to its emergence as a multicultural trading hub during the Crusades, from the rebellion against Italian unification to the rise of the Mafia, the story of Sicily is rich with extraordinary moments and dramatic characters. Writing with his customary deftness and humor, John Julius Norwich outlines the surprising influence Sicily has had on world history and tells the story of one of the world's most kaleidoscopic cultures in a galvanizing, contemporary way.
©2015 John Julius Norwich (P)2015 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Zaratose on 09-28-15

Sicily: The Unknown Sister of Despair

This text brings to life centuries of Sicilian culture and history to help grasp the island's differences with Italy itself and the pivotal role it has played not only in the history of Italy, but in the world. Sadly, it seems to avoid many points and should be considered an overview of all history of Sicily. for anyone seeking a more detailed background on a certain period, I cannot recommend this book.

However, for those seeking a masterful telling of an overview of Sicilian history, look no further!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Oleevia CG on 05-24-17

Thorough & Interesting

If you are a real history buff and interested in the history of Sicily, this is as good as it gets. Quite thorough without getting bogged down in too much minutiae. Not too many places on earth have such a diverse and chaotic history...

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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