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Giorgio Candeloro

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Giorgio Candeloro (* 20 March 1909 in Bologna; † 27 September 1988 in Rome) was an Italian modern historian. His monumental Storia dell’Italia moderna is still considered a standard work of modern Italian history.

Life

Candeloro graduated from the University of Rome in 1930 with a thesis on Joseph de Maistre by the Fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile. His relationship with Gentile was personally close, but no apologetic remarks on Italian fascism can be found in his writings at the time. In 1932 Candeloro became a high school teacher. In the same year he edited his translation of Alexis de Tocqueville’s On Democracy in America, which appeared in the Classici del pensiero politico series of the Istituto Nazionale Fascista di Cultura, edited by Gentile. In 1935 he joined the Scuola Storica Gioacchino Volpes at the Istituto Storico Italiano per l’età moderna e contemporanea, where he also had contact with the historian Walter Maturi, who was then director of the library there.[1]
During the 1943-45 biennium, Candeloro participated in the Roman Resistenza in the ranks of the Partito d’Azione. He later joined the Partito Comunista Italiano.[2]
Candeloro’s 1949 essay Adolfo Omodeo storico del Risorgimento is the first work to express his conversion to Marxist historiography.[3]
From 1968 Candeloro taught at the University of Catania. From 1972 to 1979 he was Professor of History of the Risorgimento at the University of Pisa.[4]

Factory

Candeloro’s monumental Storia dell’Italia moderna, on which he worked for over three decades, covers the period from 1700 to 1950 in eleven volumes.
Originally, Candeloro planned only six volumes. As he himself explains in the preface to the first volume, his account is based on Antonio Gramsci’s Marxist interpretation of history. Candeloro stresses the importance of writing not only specialized studies but also historical survey accounts that test the validity of interpretations and identify gaps in research in particular areas. His intention was to write a synthesis that did not present the dryness and difficulty of historical special studies, but at the same time avoided the superficiality of handbook accounts and popular science accounts.[5]

Rudolf Lill called Candeloro’s Storia dell’Italia moderna an “imposing synopsis of political, social and economic developments”.[6] Maurizio Isabella, as late as 2012, called the work “still an unrivalled and obligatory reference point for any student of the Risorgimento”.[7]

In 1964, Ernesto Ragionieri characterized the style of the account as “simple, calm, of an objectivity rarely found in Italy, nonetheless personal, but without indulging in any literary pandering”.[8]

Fonts

Monographs

  • Lo svolgimento del pensiero di Giuseppe de Maistre. Scuola di Filosofia della R. Università di Roma, 1931.
  • Il movimento cattolico in Italia. Edizioni Rinascita, Rome 1953.
  • Storia dell’Italia moderna. Feltrinelli, Milan 1956-1986
  1. Le origini del Risorgimento (1700-1815). 1956.
  2. Dalla Restaurazione alla Rivoluzione nazionale (1815-1846). 1958.
  3. La Rivoluzione nazionale (1846-1849). 1960.
  4. Dalla Rivoluzione nazionale all’unità (1849-1860), Milano, Feltrinelli, 1964.
  5. La costruzione dello Stato unitario (1860-1871). 1968.
  6. Lo sviluppo del capitalismo e del movimento operaio (1871-1896). 1970.
  7. La crisi di fine secolo e l’età giolittiana (1896-1914). 1974.
  8. La prima guerra mondiale, il dopoguerra, l’avvento del fascismo (1914-1922). 1978.
  9. Il fascismo e le sue guerre (1922-1939). 1981.
  10. La seconda guerra mondiale. Il crollo del fascismo. La Resistenza (1939-1945). 1984, ISBN 88-07-30010-9.
  11. La fondazione della Repubblica e la ricostruzione. Considerazioni finali (1945-1950). 1986, ISBN 88-07-30011-7.

Editorial

  • Alexis de Tocqueville: La democrazia in America. 3 vols. edited and translated by Giorgio Candeloro, Licinio Cappelli 1932 (= Classici del pensiero politico).

Individual references

  1. Fulvio De Giorgi: Sei lettere di Giorgio Candeloro a Giovanni Gentile. In: Aevum 65 (1991), pp. 627-631, here p. 627.
  2. Vittorio Vidotto: Giorgio Candeloro. In: Enciclopedia Italiana, vol. 5: Appendice(online).
  3. Ernesto Ragionieri: Storie del Risorgimento e storia d’Italia. In: Studi Storici 5 (1964), pp. 755-775, here p. 766.
  4. Vittorio Vidotto: Giorgio Candeloro. In: Enciclopedia Italiana, vol. 5: Appendice(online).
  5. Giorgio Candeloro: Storia dell’Italia moderna. Vol. 1: Le origini del Risorgimento (1700-1815). Feltrinelli, Milan 1956, pp. 9-12 (Prefazione).
  6. Rudolf Lill: Geschichte Italiens in der Neuzeit. 4.The first edition is a revised edition, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1988, p. 203.
  7. Maurizio Isabella: Rethinking Italy’s nation-building 150 years later: the new Risorgimento Historiography. In: Past & Present 217 (2012), pp. 247-268, here p. 248 (“a still unrivalled and obligatory point of reference for any student of the Risorgimento”).
  8. Ernesto Ragionieri: Storie del Risorgimento e storia d’Italia. In: Studi Storici 5 (1964), pp. 755-775, here p. 755 (“semplice, piano, di una oggettività assai rara in Italia, tuttavia personale, ma senza indulgere ad alcuna forma di compiacimento letterario”).