What adventure novelist could have invented the life of Giuseppe Garibaldi? The revolutionary, soldier, politician, and greatest figure in the fight for Italian unification, Garibaldi (1807-1882) brought off almost as many dramatic exploits in the Americas as he did in Europe, becoming an international freedom fighter, earning the title of the "hero of two worlds," and making himself perhaps the most famous and beloved man of his century. Alfonso Scirocco's Garibaldi is the most up-to-date, authoritative, comprehensive, and convincing biography of Garibaldi yet written. In vivid narrative style and unprecedented detail, and drawing on many new sources that shed fresh light on important events, Scirocco tells the full story of Garibaldi's fascinating public and private life, separating its myth-like reality from the outright myths that have surrounded Garibaldi since his own day.
Scirocco tells how Garibaldi devoted his energies to the liberation of Italians and other oppressed peoples. Sentenced to death for his role in an abortive Genoese insurrection in 1834, Garibaldi fled to South America, where he joined two successive fights for independence--Rio Grande do Sul's against Brazil and Uruguay's against Argentina. He returned to Italy in 1848 to again fight for Italian independence, leading seven more campaigns, including the spectacular capture of Sicily. During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln even offered to make him a general in the Union army.
Presenting Garibaldi as a complex and even contradictory figure, Scirocco shows us the pacifist who spent much of his life fighting; the nationalist who advocated European unification; the republican who served a king; and the man who, although compared by contemporaries to Aeneas and Odysseus, refused honors and wealth and spent his last years as a farmer.
Alfonso Scirocco is the author of many books on modern Italian history. From 1966 to 2000, he was professor of humanities at University Frederick II in Naples, Italy.
Table of Contents
Introduction ix Chapter 1: Sailing the Mediterranean 1 Chapter 2: From Conspiracy to Exile 17 Chapter 3: The Rio Interlude 27 Chapter 4: Privateer 39 Chapter 5: In Rio Grande 54 Chapter 6: Loves, Friendships, and Amusements 74 Chapter 7: The Costa Brava Expedition 82 Chapter 8: Montevideo 95 Chapter 9: San Antonio de Salto 108 Chapter 10: His Fame Spreads 125 Chapter 11: Italy in 1848: The General Call to Arms 138 Chapter 12: The Rome Events of 1849 151 Chapter 13: The Bold Defi ance of 1849 168 Chapter 14: The Gray Years 182 Chapter 15: In the King's Ser vice 203 Chapter 16: Po liti cal Frustrations and Disappointments in Love 221 Chapter 17: The Epic Campaign of the Thousand 236 Chapter 18: The Dictator of Sicily 263 Chapter 19: Master of a Kingdom 287 Chapter 20: From the Solitude of Caprera to the Drama of Aspromonte 309 Chapter 21: Triumph in London 331 Chapter 22: Bezzecca, Mentana, and Dijon 343 Chapter 23: Pacifi sm, Socialism, and Democracy 364 Chapter 24: The Final Years: Family, Literary Activities, and Financial Concerns 388 Chapter 25: Epilogue 400 Chronology of Events 411 Bibliography 417 Index 431
"The most difficult achievement for anyone writing on Garibaldi is to compose a biography that does not sound like a novel or a legend but at the same time captures one of the most extraordinary figures of the nineteenth century. Alfonso Scirocco has succeeded in this task. He combines historical depth with a writing style that is both elegant and captivating."Maurizio Viroli, author of Niccolò's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli
The most difficult achievement for anyone writing on Garibaldi is to compose a biography that does not sound like a novel or a legend but at the same time captures one of the most extraordinary figures of the nineteenth century. Alfonso Scirocco has succeeded in this task. He combines historical depth with a writing style that is both elegant and captivating. Maurizio Viroli, author of "Niccolo's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli"