Good Italy, Bad Italy Why Italy Must Conquer Its Demons to Face the Future Bill Emmott

Publication date:
29 Jun 2012
Yale University Press
304 pages: 210 x 140mm

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Once Italy was Europe's own emerging economy, a society that blended dynamism and super-fast growth with a lifestyle that was the envy of all. Now it is a major threat to the future of the Euro, and of the European Union as a whole, as a political system shorn of credibility struggles to deal with huge public debts and anaemic levels of economic growth. Young people are leaving the country in droves, frustrated at the lack of opportunity. Older people cling on to their rights and privileges, fearful of what the future might hold.

In this lively, up-to-the-minute book, former Economist editor Bill Emmott explains how Italy got to this point, what Italians feel about it, and what can be done to bring the country into better times. With the aid of numerous personal interviews, Emmott analyses 'bad Italy' - the land of Silvio Berlusconi, an inadequate justice system, an economy dominated by special interests and continuing corruption - but also 'good Italy', the home of countless enthusiastic entrepreneurs and of young people determined to open up Italy to the outside world and end mafia domination for good.

Bill Emmott was editor-in-chief of The Economist in 1993-2006, and is now a freelance commentator on international affairs. He is a regular columnist for The Times in London and La Stampa in Italy, chairman of the trustees of the London Library and a trustee of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of several books, including The Sun Also Sets: The Limits to Japan's Economic Power (1989), 20:21 Vision: 20th-Century Lessons for the 21st Century (2003), and Rivals: How the Power Struggle between China, India and Japan will Shape our Next Decade (2008).

Read the full biography on Bill Emmott's website

"A lively and readable analysis."—The Bookseller

"[A] lucid and thoughtful book… it is written in a graceful style that is stronger for its careful – even delicate – illumination of personal and national failure than simply offering a wilderness of denunciations." John Lloyd, Financial Times

"Well-observed..." Roger Boyes, The Times

"A useful guide to the virtues and misdeeds of a nation long bedevilled by corruption and bad governance." Ian Thomson, Evening Standard

"Engaging and stimulating." David Gilmour, The Spectator

"An excellent account of what is rotten in the state of Italy."--Charles Grant, Literary Review