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Against Ratzinger

by Antony Shugaar

Published anonymously in Italy on the one-year anniversary of Ratzinger's election to the papacy, Against Ratzinger caused a national stir and immediately shot onto bestseller lists. Now America, the home of over 67 million Catholics, will have the opportunity to wrestle with this insightful and revealing examination of Pope Benedict XVI. This concise volume analyzes and critiques the pronouncements of Ratzinger. Addressing some of the most dramatic and pressing issues of our time, Against Ratzigner studies the Pope's responses to birth control, abortion, and sexual abuse in the Church. Against Ratzinger charts Ratzinger's rise to power from his arrival in Rome in 1981 and addresses his close relationship with the late Pope John Paul II.

The History of the Mafia

by Antony Shugaar Salvatore Lupo

When we think of the Italian Mafia, we think of Marlon Brando, Tony Soprano, and the Corleones--iconic actors and characters who give shady dealings a mythical pop presence. Yet these sensational depictions take us only so far. The true story of the Mafia reveals both an organization and mindset dedicated to the preservation of tradition. It is no accident that the rise of the Mafia coincided with the unification of Italy and the influx of immigrants into America. The Mafia means more than a horse head under the sheets-it functions as an alternative to the state, providing its own social and political justice. Combining a nuanced history with a unique counternarrative concerning stereotypes of the immigrant, Salvatore Lupo, a leading historian of modern Italy and a major authority on its criminal history, has written the definitive account of the Sicilian Mafia from 1860 to the present. Consulting rare archival sources, he traces the web of associations, both illicit and legitimate, that have defined Cosa Nostra during its various incarnations. He focuses on several crucial periods of transition: the Italian unification of 1860 to 1861, the murder of noted politician Notarbartolo, fascist repression of the Mafia, the Allied invasion of 1943, social conflicts after each world war, and the major murders and trials of the 1980s. Lupo identifies the internal cultural codes that define the Mafia and places these codes within the context of social groups and communities. He also challenges the belief that the Mafia has grown more ruthless in recent decades. Rather than representing a shift from "honorable" crime to immoral drug trafficking and violence, Lupo argues the terroristic activities of the modern Mafia signify a new desire for visibility and a distinct break from the state. Where these pursuits will take the family adds a fascinating coda to Lupo's work.

I Lie for a Living: Greatest Spies of All Time

by Antony Shugaar

Top Secret is definitely not the right word for the International Spy Museum--its launch in 2002 made news and it has been high-profile ever since, with attendance growing by leaps and bounds. The International Spy Museum Handbook of Practical Spying has already been declassified to the delight of those in the need-to-know. Now, following up on that success, here's an illustrated biographical who's who of spydom from biblical days to recent times. I Lie for a Living is a regular rogue's gallery of history's most accomplished intriguers and intelligence operatives, famous and infamous alike. It's amazing how colorful some of these characters are, like 16th century playwright, brawler and secret agent Christopher Marlow or Virginia Hall and Josephine Baker, femmes fatales both. Organized into ten thematic chapters, this light-hearted but clear-eyed look at lone-wolf moles, double agents, and intricate triple-crosses unmasks a wide-ranging roster from covert patriots whose unheralded heroism sometimes cost them their lives to mercenary traitors for sale to the highest bidder, like Benedict Arnold or Aldrich Ames. It's a for-your-eyes-only kind of book, so beware-if you don't watch your back it's a sure bet someone will be reading it over your shoulder.

Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto

by Antony Shugaar Gianni Rodari

A modern fable for children and adults: a story of one man's quest for eternal life and how finds it in the most extraordinary of ways--in the grand tradition of Saint-Exúpery's The Little Prince When we first meet 93-year-old millionaire Baron Lamberto, he has been diagnosed with 24 life-threatening ailments--one for each of the 24 banks he owns! But when he takes the advice of an Egyptian mystic and hires servants to chant his name over and over again, he seems to not only get better, but younger. Except then a terrorist group lays siege to his island villa, his team of bank managers has to be bussed in to help with the ransom negotiations, and a media spectacle breaks out . . . A hilarious and strangely moving tale that seems ripped from the headlines--although actually written during the time the Red Brigades were terrorizing Italy--Gianni Rodari's Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto has become one of Italy's most beloved fables. Never before translated into English, it's a reminder, as Rodari writes, that "there are things that only happen in fairytales."From the Hardcover edition.

The Liberty of Servants: Berlusconi's Italy

by Antony Shugaar Maurizio Viroli

Italy is a country of free political institutions, yet it has become a nation of servile courtesans, with Silvio Berlusconi as their prince. This is the controversial argument that Italian political philosopher and noted Machiavelli biographer Maurizio Viroli puts forward in The Liberty of Servants. Drawing upon the classical republican conception of liberty, Viroli shows that a people can be unfree even though they are not oppressed. This condition of unfreedom arises as a consequence of being subject to the arbitrary or enormous power of men like Berlusconi, who presides over Italy with his control of government and the media, immense wealth, and infamous lack of self-restraint. Challenging our most cherished notions about liberty, Viroli argues that even if a power like Berlusconi's has been established in the most legitimate manner and people are not denied their basic rights, the mere existence of such power makes those subject to it unfree. Most Italians, following the lead of their elites, lack the minimal moral qualities of free people, such as respect for the Constitution, the willingness to obey laws, and the readiness to discharge civic duties. As Viroli demonstrates, they exhibit instead the characteristics of servility, including flattery, blind devotion to powerful men, an inclination to lie, obsession with appearances, imitation, buffoonery, acquiescence, and docility. Accompanying these traits is a marked arrogance that is apparent among not only politicians but also ordinary citizens.

Machiavelli's God

by Maurizio Viroli Antony Shugaar

To many readers of The Prince, Machiavelli appears to be deeply un-Christian or even anti-Christian, a cynic who thinks rulers should use religion only to keep their subjects in check. But in Machiavelli's God, Maurizio Viroli, one of the world's leading authorities on Machiavelli, argues that Machiavelli, far from opposing Christianity, thought it was crucial to republican social and political renewal--but that first it needed to be renewed itself. And without understanding this, Viroli contends, it is impossible to comprehend Machiavelli's thought. Viroli places Machiavelli in the context of Florence's republican Christianity, which was founded on the idea that the true Christian is a citizen who serves the common good. In this tradition, God participates in human affairs, supports and rewards those who govern justly, and desires men to make the earthly city similar to the divine one. Building on this tradition, Machiavelli advocated a religion of virtue, and he believed that, without this faith, free republics could not be established, defend themselves against corruption, or survive. Viroli makes a powerful case that Machiavelli, far from being a pagan or atheist, was a prophet of a true religion of liberty, a way of moral and political living that would rediscover and pursue charity and justice.The translation of this work has been funded by SEPS - Segretariato Europeo per le Pubblicazioni Scientifiche.

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