In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

220 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW may provea morecompelling motivethan economic gain.The authortends to minimizethe uniqueness of the us experience and explainsthe problems of American diplomacy in termsoffactors common to all greatpowers. Tucker thus disputes the radicals'tendencyto characterizeonly capitalist nations asaggressive. He feelsthat suchhistorians underestimate the possibility that diplomatic crises mayoriginate fromexternalaswell asinternalthreats, and objects to the implicationof muchradicalhistoriography that the burden of reformrests mainlyon the United States.For Tucker, suchan indictmentis parochialandrepresents a failuretoviewtheworldfrom anything otherthanan Americanperspective. The readerisleft with little doubtasto whereProfessor Tucker'ssympathies lie. Althoughhisdescription of what he callsthe radicalview is clearenough, thebookmighthavebeenimprovedbyfocussing moreconsistently onparticular historians. Furthermore, mostof Tucker'scriticisms havebeenmadebefore,so thathisevaluation isnotnotablyoriginal.Evenso,students of Americanforeign policy will findthisa useful, if general, reviewof recenthistoriography. T.E. VADNEY University o[Manitoba EUROPE Victor Emanuel,Cavour,and the Risorgimento. DENISMAGK SMITH.London, Oxford UniversityPress [Toronto,Oxford UniversityPress],I97I. Pp. xviii, 38I, maps.$•4.oo. At a newspaper kioskin Rome or Milan, next to lurid gialli and stacks of lI Lamentodi Portnoy,onecan find the historical writing of an Oxbridgedon. What DenisMack SmithhaswrittenaboutGaribaldi,Cavour,Sicily,and the Risorgimento itselfhaschanged Italianhistodography (see JohnCammett,'Two RecentPolemics on the Characterof the Risorgimento,' Science and Society, 1963).Yet hisbooks canalsoendup on Oggi'slistof bestsellers. It isnotthat Mack Smith'shistoricalwritingsare demotic,but rather that Risorgimento history stillhasavitalplace in contemporary politics. Everypartymustguardits mythsand pedigrees. Now Mack Smithhasturnedhis attentionto the centre oftheroyalist pantheon, KingVictorEmmanuel n.Debunking some ofthemyths surrounding that monarchmaybegoodhistory;it alsoserves in a smallway to compromise the Msxand their nostalgic neo-monarchist alliesat a time of resuegent fascism. An introductory essay abouttheroyalarchives vanishing to the beaches ofPortugal along withthedeposed kingsets thetone.Although scholarly andwellresearched onesenses thataccounts ofsuch episodes titillateandbecome politicalammunition for Italy'spatti prisreading public. Mack Smith apparentlyrealizedthat hiswork couldnot take conventional biographical form.The closed archives at Cascais assured that. The paradox of a monarchy at oncepoliticallyastuteand boorishly illiteratesuggests that REVIEWS 221 the king'spapersmight not help the historianmuch. In compensation, the authordemonstrates hissuperbknowledge of the Risorgimento's memoirand epistolary literature. If thesituation comedy of theSavoyard CourtandParliamentremindsusof VictorianEngland,it is asmuchbecause of Mack Smith's virtuositywith detail as because of his Whiggishand etlmocentricframe of reference. (The book's onlypictureof King Victor Emmanuelis a sketch drawnby QueenVictoria.) The episodic qualityof the book- somechapters haveappeared elsewhere - parodies those pagineor momentiformatsthat were the heuristic deviceof patrioticroyalisthistorians. Still, chapters on parhamentarianism , federalism, the kingaswarrior,the king aschiefof state,and evena synthetic chapteron the Risorgimento itselfare valuableand richly written. Thereare,asin all theauthor's works, manyglimpses of thefascist apocalypse. Alreadyin the x84os , wearereminded, Cesare Balbofelt thateverygoodItalian would'gladlysacrifice Dante,Michelangelo, andRaphael,in returnfor a leader who couldlead them to military victory.'AlthoughMack Smith knowsmore aboutCavourthan anyotherEnglish-speaking historian, he doesnot helpthe rest of us much when he describes him as 'a liberal-minded conservative in politics.' Cavour,less equivocally, calledhimselfa 'moderato.' And thenthere istheCanadian priceof thebook,$24.00.In thiscountry,at least,onedoesn't havetolookfor goodhistory cheek byjowlwith thetikes of Spillane andRoth. R.F. HARNEY University ofToronto Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture.•: The Modernity of the Eighteenth Century.Editedby •.oms?. Mx•c. Clevelandand London,The Press of Case WesternReserve University,•97•. PP-xxii, 243. $6.95. Thismodest book,containing theproceedings of thefirstmeeting of theAmerican Sodcryfor Eighteenth-Century Studies,focuses on the question of the 'modernit-/' of the eighteenth century.Modernit-/is a slipperyconcept,if for nootherreason thanit necessarily shifts with thepassage of time.StuartHampshiresuggests that themodernity of the centurymustreston certainpreoccupationsshared with ourtimes. A fewyears agoat a conference in AustraliaArthur Wilsonsought to provethemodemit-/ofthephilosophes by showing howmany concerns theyhadin common withrecent theorists ofmodernization. Butneither theorganizers of thisconference northeeditorof thisvolumehasmanaged to establish any suchanalyticalframework.The resultis a very incompleteand uneventreatmentof thequestion posed. To beginwith thereare hugegapsin the discussion. Various attemptsat reform- at streamlining administrative machinery,at improvingthe fiscal system, at completing economic unification, at promoting economic growth,at secularizing citizenship through toleration - couldbeviewedasefforts tomodernizethestate ,but suchattempts arenotevenmentioned. The floodof proposals foreducational institutions designed toproduce citizens prepared toserve society ...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 220-221
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.