Silvio Berlusconi: Television, Power and Patrimony
Silvio Berlusconi, a self-made man with a taste for luxurious living, owner of a huge television empire and, most recently, the man who likened a German MEP to a Nazi concentration-camp guard—small wonder that much of democratic Europe and America has responded with considerable dismay and disdain to his governance of Italy.
Paul Ginsborg, contemporary Italy's foremost historian, explains here why we should take Berlusconi seriously. His new book combines historical narrative Berlusconi's childhood in the dyna-mic and paternalist Milanese bourgeoisie, his strict religious schooling, a working life which has encompassed crooning, large construction projects and the creation of a commercial television empirewith careful analysis of Berlusconi's political development.
While never forgetting the italianita of Berlusconi's trajectory, he argues that the Italian example is highly instructive for all modern societies. What Berlusconi represents—the relationship between the media system and politics, the nature of personal dominion at a time of crisis in representative democracy, the connection between the consumer world, families and politics, and the exploitation of the wide-open spaces left by the strategic weaknesses of modern left-wing politics—are, Ginsborg suggests, near-universal.
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Page 7 - England thinks in certain crises is largely controlled by a very few men, not by virtue of the direct expression of any opinion of their own, but by controlling the distribution of emphasis in the telling of facts: so stressing one group of them and keeping another group in the background as to make a given conclusion inevitable.
Page 7 - Obviously what England thinks is largely controlled by one man; not by the direct expression of any opinion of his own but by controlling the distribution of emphasis in the telling of facts, so stressing one group of them day after day and keeping another group in the background as to make a given conclusion inevitable.
Page xv - The World Social Forum is an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and interlinking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society...
Page 5 - ... clearly are theories, widely canvassed in liberal society, which want to define freedom exclusively in terms of the independence of the individual from interference by others, be these governments, corporations or private persons; and equally clearly these theories are challenged by those who believe that freedom resides at least in part in collective control over the common life.
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