Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in History and Stories of the Contemporary World
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (64 hours)


Final Examination: 

The final examination comprises two parts:
1) a two-hour written examination (to be taken without the help of readings or notes), aimed at assessing the knowledge of the readings suggested for the “General part” of the course. The test is structured as follows:
•20 multiple-choice questions, worth 1 point each;
•Two open questions, worth maximum 5 points each.
To be admitted to the second part of the examination, a pass mark is required (at least 18/30) in the first part.
2) An oral examination (two questions) concerning the readings suggested for the “Monographic part” of the course and the other materials uploaded on the e-learning platform by the lecturer.
The mark of the oral examination (expressed on a scale of 30) will take into account the accuracy of the answers (worth 60% of the mark), as well as students’ analytical and presentation skills (worth 40% of the mark).
The final mark is the average of the two marks awarded in the written and oral examinations, both of which must be taken in the same exam session. The pass mark is 18/30.

Voto Finale

The knowledge of modern Italian history is essential to understand the broad comtemporary world.
By making use of the abundant literature on the topic and the information provided by the new media (the press, the radio, the television and the web), the course aims to assess and compare the key events and interpretations of the Italian History with special attention to the years following WWII and thepublic use (and abuse) of History.
The course is structured in two parts. The first part outlines the events that marked the Italian History from WWII to the “Second Republic”. The second part focuses on the historiographical debate concerning the key events of the Italian History from the political unification to the present day (see “Course content, Monographic part”).

Among the learning objectives we find:

•The knowledge of the main processess that characterized the Italian contemporary history.
•The knowledge of the different interpretations of the main historical events.
•The ability to interpret, discuss and present the acquired information under the lens of the historical processes.
•The ability to discuss the sources and the “public use of History”.
•The capacity to understand the premises and the results of the historiographical debate among scholars as well as the public debate on the mass media.

The course outlines the main political events and social changes which affected Italy after WWII by focusing on the following topics:
A) General part (approximately 30 hours):
• Italyon the eveof WWII
• The “parallel war”
• 1943: The military defeat and the fall of Fascism.“Death of the motherland” or“Redemption”of the Italians?
• Italy split in two: The Southern Kingdom, the Social Republic, and the Resistance
•The death of Benito Mussolini
• Post-war Italy: Daily life between hope and fear
• The birth of the Republic: the 1946 referendum, the Constitutional convention and the elections of 1948
• Political parties and the reconstruction: Alcide De Gasperi andPalmiro Togliatti
• Italy in the years of “centrismo”: Economic boom, social costs, emigration
• From poverty to wellbeing? Mass media, new habits and lifestyles
• The 1960s: Thecenter-left coalition, the De Lorenzo case
• 1968, workers’ protests, the “Hot Autumn”
• The “strategy of tension”: the neo-fascist massacresfromPiazza Fontana to Bologna’s station
• Terrorism and the“years of lead”:“Historic Compromise”, theRed Brigadesand the “Moro case”
• The 1980s: Bettino Craxi, Giulio Andreotti,ArnaldoForlani
• “Tangentopoli”and the end of the First Republic
• Mafia, camorra, ‘ndrangheta: Ashort historyup until Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. The mafia wars and the massacres
• The Second Republicand the rise of Silvio Berlusconi
• Italy in the new millennium: An endless transition

B) Monographic part, historiograhical lessons (approximately 34 hours):
• The Italian political unification: The interpretations of Risorgimento
• The Great War and the Italians
• Fascism: Theories and interpretations
• The interpretations of theResistance
• The “foibe” as a political and historiographical problem
• The “Golpe” and the “Double State”: interpretationsand controversy
• The “years of lead”: A civil war?
• The interpretations of the Republic
• The “war ofmemory”: revisionism e negationof History.

1. Miscellaneous material (available in Pdf format on the e-learning platform at the end of the course)

2. General part:
• A. Lepre, C. Petraccone, Storia d’Italia dall’Unità a oggi, Bologna, il Mulino
• S. Colarizi, Storia del Novecento italiano, Milano, Bur, Rizzoli

3. Monographic part:
two books among the following:
• D. Beales, E. Biagini, Il Risorgimento e l'unificazione dell'Italia, Bologna, Il Mulino
• F. Cammarano, Storia politica dell'Italia liberale (1861-1901), Roma-Bari, Laterza
• E. Gentile, Fascismo. Storia e interpretazione, Roma-Bari, Laterza
• S. Peli, Storia della Resistenza in Italia, Torino, Einaudi
• A. Lepre, Storia della Prima repubblica, Bologna, ilMulino
• G. Crainz, Il Paese mancato. Dal miracolo economico agli anni ottanta, Roma, Donzelli
• G. Crainz, Il Paese reale. Dall’assassinio di Moro all’Italia di oggi, Roma, Donzelli
• A. De Bernardi, Un Paese in bilico. L’Italia degli ultimi trent’anni, Roma-Bari, Laterza
• S. Colarizi, M. Gervasoni, La tela di Penelope. Storia della Seconda Repubblica, Roma-Bari, Laterza
• S. Lupo, La mafia. Centosessant’anni di storia tra Sicilia e America, Roma, Donzelli
• M. Lazar, A. M. Matard-Bonucci, Il libro degli anni di piombo, Milano, Rizzoli
• M. Dondi, L’eco del boato. Storia della strategia della tensione, Roma-Bari, Laterza


The learning objectives will be achieved through 64 lecture hours. Students are expected to participate in the discussions in class, which will allow them to familiarize with the historiographical debate and the narrative tools to integrate history in the public debate (through the press, the television, and the new media).

Office hour and location: Fridays from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Dipartimento di ScienzeTeoriche e Applicate (Padiglione Rossi, Via Rossi). Students are required to previously schedule a meeting by sending an e-mail to the lecturer (a.orecchia@uninsubria.it).