Guiseppe Garibaldi, My Life (1872)

Guiseppe Garibaldi, My Life (1872) 160p.

Garibaldi is one of a fistful of men who not only lived in the Romantic era, but who lived and made the Romantic era by their deeds. His life he devoted to the cause of freedom of the people, and his memoires read like an adventure book. I always doubt that these heroic characters were very likable characters in their lifetime, they are boasters, who never hesitate to impose their capricious personalities on the world, and they own the evident right to appropriate the world in their own name. But the lives and courage of these men are to be admired, if not as ideal examples of reality than as romanticized ideals to keep in our mind as guides. For such men romanticized themselves consciously or unconsciously, and Garibaldi does not stop to emphasize the corrupt characters of all of his adversaries, the valor of his followers, and only downplays his own role by continuing to tell of the misfortunes and inferioror weapons and means within their possession. But the Risorgimento is one of the most fascinating periods in Italian modern history, as a passing between the old order toward the new, and perhaps even casting a shadow of contemporary events in Italian politics and culture.

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