That Fine Italian Hand

Paul Hofmann, Author Henry Holt & Company $19.45 (238p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0977-4
Continuing his love affair with Italy, Hofmann ( Cento Citta ), former New York Times Rome bureau chief, offers an entertaining and shrewd appraisal of an ancient, ever-changing nation. Although indulgent of the Italian scene, he nonetheless recognizes the blemishes that mar its surface and the violent contrasts that perplex many visitors, especially the cultural differences and tensions between the progressive North and the still semi-feudal, Mafia-plagued South. Strikes, erratic museum and public service schedules and civic red tape and delays, along with ugly, noisy urban sprawls surrounding traffic-jammed ancient cities, he grants, are exasperating. However, the author counters, these astute, individualistic, resilient people who value life moment by moment and cultivate its pleasures with a rare tenacity survive by resourcefulness (`` arrangiarsi '') and by maintaining strong family bonds (despite much-publicized sex scandals). (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 264 pages - 978-0-8050-1729-8
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