By: Denis Mack Smith
Giuseppe Mazzini was one of the exceptional figures in of nineteenth-century European history. An advocate of nationalism, Italian liberation and unity, and captivating personality, his philosophies were significant all over Europe. Mazzini was a part of the three intelligent group men who conquered the Italian Risorgimento. He never was at the same level of the political effect of Cavour, or even the military fame of Garibaldi. Nonetheless the creating and impact of his philosophies introduced him to the world, but it also created international fame for Mazzini. He was looked up upon by Nietzsche and admired by John Stuart Mill. On the contrary, he was criticized by the Pope, and said to be a worshiper of Satan. Also some members of royalty in Europe thought of him as a terrorist. Even the great Karl Marx, who he was introduced to in London, believed him to be a conventional illiberal, if put in modern terms. When Mazzini died, he was said to be in a class of his own, even higher than Dickens, Manzoni or even King Victor Emanuel of Italy. After over 100 years of oblivion, Denis Mack Smith has salvaged Mazzini’s ideas and almost brought him back into the spotlight. This book also provides a biography full of information and eye opening ideas for anyone eager to learn about Italy's past in order to appreciate the his efforts. Mazzini was said to be the polar opposite of Cavour, who strongly believed in power politics and who maintained, that “the foulest of chambers was always to be favored to the best of antechambers.” If put into modern terms, “When one door closes another door opens.” Mazzini seldom wondered into the realms of power. He spent much of his career under the death sentence, traveling between England, Switzerland and the divided states of the Italian peninsula. His writings, letters and plans played a vital part in the revolutions of 1848, and he temporarily served as a member of the dominant trio during the short...
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