Edition: 2012
Pages: 322
Series: EL
ISBN: 9788842099802

The Faces of Power

Luciano Canfora, Andrea Giardina, Chiara Frugoni, Alessandro Barbero, Alberto Mario Banti, Emilio Gentile, Andrea Graziosi, Vittorio Vidotto, Giovanni Sabbatucci, Andrea Riccardi , Michelle Perrot



The political and human affairs of the great leaders of history, the highlights and lowlights of their dominion, and the legacy of these powerful people which continues to condition us to this day.

Pericles, Pope Wojtyla, Augustus, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, De Gasperi and others – shrewd impostors, crowd pleasers, emperors, ferocious dictators, able statesmen, or more humbly speaking, shepherds of souls who left their mark on the destiny of entire nations. In the hugely popular series of lectures held at the Auditorium of Rome (collected in this book) between October 2008 and May 2009, some of Italy’s foremost historians and the authoritative French scholar, Michelle Perrot, recount the political and human affairs of the great leaders of history and reveal the positive and negative aspects of their various styles of leadership. An in-depth exploration of the past and continuing influence of these powerful personages, and the extent to which we are still conditioned by that model and that power.

The authors

Luciano Canfora

Luciano Canfora, historian of the ancient world and Italian philologist, is one of Italy’s foremost living intellectuals. Professor emeritus of Greek and Latin philology at the University of Bari, he is a member of the “Institute for the classical tradition” in Boston, of the “Fondazione Istituto Gramsci” in Rome, and directs the journal Quaderni di storia. His numerous studies, translated worldwide, are characterised by a multidisciplinary approach and a broad field of research.

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Andrea Giardina

Andrea Giardina is professor of Roman History at the Italian Institute of Human Sciences, president of the Italian Institute for Ancient History and member of the Lincean Academy. His most recent publications include, Cassiodorus the Politician (Rome 2006).

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Chiara Frugoni

Chiara Frugoni is among the greatest scholars of Medieval History in Italy. Her books, which have been translated into many languages throughout the world, have been highly successful and reprinted on numerous occasions. She taught Medieval History in the Universities of Pisa and Rome.

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Alessandro Barbero

Alessandro Barbero is Italy’s best known historian. His books are all bestsellers in Italy and abroad and his ‘History Lessons’ are widely followed live and on social. He teaches Medieval History at the University of Eastern Piedmont. His latest book, Dante (2020), has sold more than 250,000 copies and has been translated in more than 20 countries.

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Alberto Mario Banti

Alberto Mario Banti teaches Contemporary History at the University of Pisa. His most recent publications include: The Nation of the Risorgimento (Turin 2000) and The Honour of the Nation (Turin 2005).

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Emilio Gentile

Emilio Gentile is an historian of international renown, he is emeritus professor at ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome. He received the Hans Sigrist Prize at the University of Berna for his studies on the religions of politics. Among his main works published by Laterza, often reprinted and translated all over the world: The Cult of the Lictor: the sacralisation of politics in fascist Italy; Politics as religion; Fascism: History and interpretation; Fascism in three chapters; God’s democracy: American religion after September 11 (Burzio Prize); Stone fascism; Two gunshots, ten million dead, the end of a world; The March on Rome and Fascism in Power; The leader and the Crowd; “In a democracy people are always sovreign” False!.

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Andrea Graziosi

Andrea Graziosi, professor of Contemporary History at the University of Naples Federico II, has studied and taught in American, Russian and European universities. Among his most recent publications, translated into several languages: The Battle for Ukrainian. A Comparative Perspective (with Michael Flier, Harvard University Press 2017); La grande guerra contadina in Urss (Officina libraria 2022); Genocide. The Power and Problems of a Concept (with Frank Sysyn, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022).

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Vittorio Vidotto

Vittorio Vidotto is professor of Contemporary History at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”.

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Giovanni Sabbatucci

Giovanni Sabbatucci is professor of Contemporary History at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”.

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Andrea Riccardi

Andrea Riccardiis the founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio. He is a historian of the contemporary world and a scholar of the History of the Church and Christianity. Among his most recent books with Laterza: Convivere; L’inverno più lungo. 1943-44: Pio XII, gli ebrei e i nazisti a Roma; La strage dei cristiani. Mardin, gli armeni e la fine di un mondo; La Chiesa brucia, all widely translated all around the world.

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Michelle Perrot

Michelle Perrot is a well-known scholar of contemporary history.

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