We, the Divided: Ethos, Politics and Culture in Post-war Italy, 1943-2006
Remo Bodei
Translated by Jeremy Parzen and Aaron Thomas

Pub date 1/1/2006
Paperback 170 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-568-8610-6-7
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In this account of Italian politics and culture from the founding of the Italian Republic to the present day, philosopher Remo Bodei examines Italian society in one of the most exhilarating and intriguing periods of its history. Following World War II and the defeat of Fascism, the reconstruction of the country and onset of the Cold War brought new challenges to Italy. The Italian people—whose sense of national identity has always been precarious—were divided between the competing political passions and ideologies of Catholicism and Communism, and compelled to negotiate these differences against the backdrop of American cultural and economic hegemony and the utopian enticements of a more equitable society purportedly represented by the Soviet Union.

Alternating between imaginative historical research and sharp theoretical analysis, Bodei reconstructs this process of cultural negotiation, showing how the ethos of the Italians was parsed in specific spheres—such as the family, the military, political parties, religion, the judiciary, and organized crime—and the difficulties these divisions raise for the construction of Italian national identity.

Remo Bodei was born in Cagliari, Sardinia in 1938. Professor of philosophy at the University of Pisa, he has lectured at many European and American universities, including the University of California, Los Angeles, where he currently teaches. Bodei has published widely on western philosophy, culture, history, politics and aesthetics. Among his publications are, Scomposizioni: Forme dell’individuo moderno (Turin, 1987), Ordo Amoris (Bologna, 1991), Geometria delle passioni: Paura, speranza e felicità (Milan, 1997), La Filosofia del Novecento (Bergamo, 1997), Le logiche del delirio (Rome, 2002), and Destini personali (Milan, 2003).