Great Art, Dismal Politics: A Tale of Two Italies

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Joseph Luzzi’s father, Pasquale, and his children in Calabria, shortly before their passage to the United States.

The child of Italian immigrants and an award-winning scholar of Italian literature Joseph Luzzi tells his family’s story and links it to Italy’s north-south divide and the country's passion for art, food, and family. His book My Two Italies gives an account of his Calabrian father’s time as a military internee in Nazi Germany—where he had a love affair with a local Bavarian woman. Luzzi also looks at Italy’s contradictions—it has produced some of the world’s greatest art but it also suffers from corruption, political fragmentation, and an enfeebled civil society.