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Gilmour swoops through Italian history by focusing on an whole peninsula vision throughout the story of a very divided region. Instead of meticulously going through all the events that occurred in the peninsula over the centuries, Gilmour is concerned about the events that defined what it was to be Italian, an often vague concept. For those looking for a straight history, avoid this book. For those who want a more thorough understanding of Itlay as a whole, as a concept, as it sees itself, and the divisions that the Italy label brings, read on. My only criticism is that I would have liked a little less history and a little more culture.
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