War, Massacre, and Recovery in Central Italy, 1943-1948
Published: June 2010© 2010
592 Pages, 6.50 x 9.30 x 1.56 in, 20 halftones
The Second World War wreaked unprecedented devastation throughout Europe, necessitating monumental reconstruction efforts that burdened not only governments, but the lives of ordinary citizens. War, Massacre, and Recovery in Central Italy, 1943-1948 examines this transitional period in the province of Arezzo by detailing the daily experiences of civilians through the traumas of war and the difficulties of recovery.
Studying the aftermath of war in a new and insightful way, Victoria C. Belco shifts the perspective from the national to the local level. With this localized focus, she provides valuable insight into the ways in which civilians coped with an overwhelming range of problems - from adjusting to Allied occupation and widespread displacement to rampant unemployment and the restructuring of local administrations and institutions after fascism. Recreating the post-war atmosphere of disorder, need, and political upheaval, Belco shows how the competing community interests caused social fragmentations that impeded change, while the unity of a shared past prevented civil war.
'Detailed, scholarly, and authoritative, Victoria C. Belco's outstanding book reconstructs the painful story of the city of Arezzo and its surrounding towns and villages during and after World War Two. War, Massacre, and Recovery is an original and ground-breaking work which makes an important and timely contribution to our knowledge of a key phase in twentieth-century European history.' Philip Cooke, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
'Victoria C. Belco's important study describes how Italians in central Italy were literally abandoned after the collapse of the Italian state in September 1943. She also raises larger questions about why Allied efforts at reform failed on the local level and why so little changed in provincial life after the trauma of war and liberation. This is a book with much relevance to the way Italians remember fascism, the war, and the liberation.' Alexander De Grand, Department of History, North Carolina State University