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Garibaldi and the Risorgimento

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Giuseppe Garibaldi and his role in unifying Italy which, with his Red Shirts, he achieved substantially in 1861 and entirely in 1870.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Giuseppe Garibaldi and the Italian Risorgimento. According to the historian AJP Taylor, Garibaldi was the only wholly admirable figure in modern history. Born in Nice in 1807, one of Garibaldi's aims in life was the unification of Italy and, in large part thanks to him, Italy was indeed united substantially in 1861 and entirely in 1870. With his distinctive red shirt and poncho, he was a hero of Romantic revolutionaries around the world. His fame was secured when, with a thousand soldiers, he invaded Sicily and toppled the monarchy in the Italian south. The Risorgimento was soon almost complete.

This topic is the one chosen from over 750 different ideas suggested by listeners in October, for our yearly Listener Week.


Lucy Riall
Professor of Comparative History of Europe at the European University Institute
and Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London

Eugenio Biagini
Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Cambridge


David Laven
Associate Professor of History at the University of Nottingham

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 1 Dec 2016 21:30


Lucy Riall at the European University Institute

Eugenio Biagini at the University of Cambridge

David Laven at the University of Nottingham

Giuseppe Garibaldi - Wikipedia



Derek Beales and Eugenio F. Biagini, The Risorgimento and the Unification of Italy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)

Martin Clark, The Italian Risorgimento (Longman, 2009)

Frank J. Coppa, The Origins of the Italian Wars of Independence (Longman, 1992)

John A. Davis (ed.), The Risorgimento and Unification (1789-1896) The Short Oxford History of Italy (Oxford University Press, 2000)

Christopher Duggan, The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796 (Allen Lane, 2007)

Denis Mack Smith, The Making of Italy, 17961870 (Macmillan, 1968)

Danilo Raponi, Religion and Politics in the Risorgimento: Britain and the New Italy, 1861-1875 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

Lucy Riall, Risorgimento: The History of Italy from Napoleon to Nation State (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

Lucy Riall, Garibaldi: Invention of a Hero (Yale University Press, 2007)

Lucy Riall, Under the Volcano: Revolution in a Sicilian Town (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Alfonso Scirocco, Garibaldi: Citizen of the World: A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2007)

Stuart Woolf, A History of Italy 17001860: The Social Constraints of Political Change (Methuen, 1979)


Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Producer Simon Tillotson
Participant Lucy Riall
Participant Eugenio Biagini
Participant David Laven


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