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Publisher's Summary

The director of Italian studies at Bard College, Professor Joseph Luzzi, leads a comprehensive overview of Italian culture. Beginning in the fabled realm of Renaissance art and concluding with the sweeping transformations of present-day Italy, Professor Luzzi examines the Italian mystique and answers a number of intriguing questions: Is there a distinctly “Italian” way of looking at the world? To whom do Italian Renaissance treasures truly belong? Could the United States as known today exist without the contributions of Italian culture?

©2010 Joseph Luzzi (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent for Italian literature buffs

Part of my disappointment was that I thought this audiobook would cover Michelangelo (especially given the subtitle In Michelangelo's Shadow.) Maybe the emphasis is on "shadow" because the artist is mentioned only in passing. I am more interested in art, art history and pure history. I'm not an Italian literature (Dante) or movie buff, so much of the book was interesting but not exciting. If you know The Divine Comedy and have seen Room with a View, this book is definitely for you. I just don't know how you write a book about Italy without at least one chapter being about art.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • CB
  • 01-21-11

Disappointing delivery

I really wanted to like this audio. I am of Italian descent, and love things Italian. I believe the content, if one were to read it, would be interesting. Unfortunately, Prof. Luzzi didn't take the time or make the effort to read through and prepare his lectures before recording them. This is obvious throughout the whole recording, with the possible exception of the first lecture. One must assume these professors are reading their lectures, but a little enthusiasm would add a great deal. Prof. Luzzi seems to be reading this content for the first time, e.g., he gets inflection incorrect, thereby confusing his meaning; he repeats entire sentences (losing his place in the script?); he pauses where there shouldn't be a pause (turning a page to read the next word?). What a shame his didn't better prepare! I would wager that he wouldn't like it if his students were so ill prepared. He should have done it over, and done it better.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • Heath, TX, United States
  • 11-04-11

This is my favorite book.

Joseph Luzzi is an excellent speaker. As a student of Dante, professor Luzzi has completely changed the way that I think about Italian literature. I almost moved from Texas to the north so I could take a class with him after I listened to these lectures.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Egidio
  • bethany, CT, United States
  • 10-24-10

exellent for someone interest in It. culture

As someone with a similar background, whose family emigrated in the 1950's, your book brought back many memories of our struggles in our new homeland. Thank you for your detailed discourse on Italian culture. Egidio , New Haven, Ct.