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The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia, Volume 1: The Socialist Offensive: The Collectivisation of Soviet Agriculture, 1929-1930
Robert William Davies
Progress: 116/512 pages
The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Richard J. Evans
Progress: 219/928 pages
Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser's Early Life, 1859-1888
John C. G. Röhl
Progress: 229/1016 pages
The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796 - Christopher Duggan

Christopher Duggan's excellent book is not so much a history of Italy as it is a history of the nation of Italy. As he demonstrates, Italian nationalism was confined to a few intellectuals, artists and professionals, with regional identities predominant among the rest of the population. As a result, unification was superficial for much of the populace, who often found themselves at odds with the liberal state and forced to choose between this artificial link and their much deeper-seated loyalty to the Catholic Church. This approach helps make the appeal of Fascism much more understandable, with Duggan's analysis of this period one of the strongest points of this book. In the end, the reader is left with a deeper understanding of the problems Italy faces today, and perhaps as well a skepticism about the ability of Italians to address them in the future.