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Between Salt Water And Holy Water Paperback – Aug 8 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; 1 edition (Aug. 8 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393328678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393328677
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 14 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #736,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
At the high point of Roman civilization, in the late first century BC, the great poet Virgil immortalized in his Aeneid the heroic journey of Aeneas from Troy to Italy, where his descendants would found Rome, the city destined to universal empire. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 9 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Highly Respectable Scholary Work Feb. 22 2006
By John Sollami - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Let's not confuse this work with pop histories or superficial glosses of history. This beautifully designed scholarly book is a highly detailed telling of what southern Italy has endured in the past 2000+ years. The story is quite complex. Lots of peoples have wanted to conquer this territory, for its grain, for its beauty, for its shores, and for its resources. Arabs, Spaniards, Germans, Greeks, and Normans have all left their footprints in the rich soil, and if one visits, one can still witness traces of this varied history there. To unravel all the kings, queens, barons, dukes, religious influences, cultural influences, and economic upturns and downturns is an undertaking requiring the reader's patience and quiet contemplation. The author, Tommaso Astarita, has done an excellent job in giving us the details. After reading this book, one can never quite think of this beautiful region in the same way again. Rather, as any good history does, this work changes our perception of the landscape, and we now remember and visualize its long struggles, the blood that's been shed, the plagues that have come and gone, and the hard endurance of its people. If you are not prepared to immerse yourself in scholarly details and complex writing, this book isn't for you. But if you want to truly understand southern Italy's history, you've come to the right place.
31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
History of Naples, not Southern Italy Jan. 18 2006
By enzozne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was born in southern Italy so I was interested in this book because part of its title is "A History of Southern Italy". But it is far more accurate to describe it as a history of Naples with a few skimpy references to areas south of Naples to Messina. Naples is the heart and soul of this book, but then what can one expect of its writer who is described on the inside jacket as "Native Neopolitan". His love of Naples and its history is evident throughout. There is hardly a page where there's not endless mentions of Naples. For example, between p.268 and p.273 there are 33 mentions of "Naples" and "Neopolitan". Naples is not Southern Italy and Southern Italy is not Naples. If you are looking for a book on "A History of Southern Italy" this is not the book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
History of Italy's new destinaion June 22 2012
By dwinps - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mario Batali predicted Naples would be the next hot destination for travellers. Well, it hasn't quite worked out that way BUT, Naples and the entire Campania region are becoming more and more popular...deservedly so. If you love Italian food as reinterpreted throughout the US (mostly by families from this area BTW) this is the place to visit for the real thing. If you love history, this is the place to visit...there are ruins near Naples (and of course Pompeii) which trump anything anywhere.
Or if you want to just kick back in one of the most beautiful settings anywhere in the world...well, Capri, Amalfi, Positano have been destinations for film stars as well as the hoi poloi for years...they and their neighbors have it all.

And if you want to know how and why its like it is...this is easily the best, most readible (and un-sentimentalized)book on the subject. An essential for a lover of Southern Italy. DW
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Beautifully conceptualized, interestingly written June 25 2007
By Carlacara - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have been so delighted with this book I have nearly worn out the cover reading and rereading it. Until this book and another by a different author came out during the same year (2005) there was practically nothing meaningful about the history and development of Southern Italy available in English. This author has integrated the history, culture,art, music, literature of the region and sprinkled it with charming details and insights. This is not a travel guide or a book to be picked up lightly, but anyone interested in learning about that particular region of Italy will be well-served by this text. I have given it as a gift and consider it among my favorites.
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Understanding Southern Italy Sept. 18 2005
By Travel Diva - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was a book to start learn more of the traditions, history, and politics which shaped the character of the Southern Italian people. Remeber that this is a history book, so at times it's not an easy read. But as it is difficult to find detailed information about Southern Italy, this provides some useful data. The focus is mainly on Naples and Sicily and only gives glimpses of other areas (Calabria, Puglia, etc.).

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