The real life and personality of the hero of two worlds. A moody and unbearable temperament with an almost infantile narcissism... very different from Risorgimento iconography.
For more than a century now, the figure of Giuseppe Garibaldi is the hallmark of Italianism. The streets, piazzas and monuments dedicated to him, along with portraits and effigies, are the tangible signs in our everyday life. In a varyingly subtle manner and since elementary school, the Italians are indoctrinated with the secular cult of a man who for the Risorgimento ideological Vulgate represents the embodiment of the hero and the patriot, he who selflessly fought for our country’s freedom and unity. Now, with the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, the myth of Garibaldi has grown dimmer than ever before. This book delves into the real life and the real personality of the hero of two worlds, and reveals a profile that is a far throw from the Risorgimento iconography. With a moody and unbearable temperament, and an almost infantile narcissism, Garibaldi was a cunning opportunist, a revolutionary by temperament but almost always ready to come to terms with the dominant powers of his time. Originally for the Republic and a follower of Mazzini, he would not hesitate to ally himself with the Savoias who had for so many years wanted to see him dead. A champion of the freedom of all peoples, he had no scruples about trading slaves. From a historical point of view, his role is enormously over evaluated, the fruit of an artfully conceived myth, more than the reflection of an effective military value or an incomparable political instinct. The only ideal in which he had an unwavering faith was anticlericalism: as much as a megalomaniac as he was, the General knew no other worship than that for himself.
Luca Marcolivio (Rome, 1976) is a professional journalist. He works with the agencies Zenit and Corrispondenza Romana, and with the periodicals «Radici Cristiane» and «La Destra delle Libertà». Since February 2010, he is editor of the web weekly L’Ottimista (
). In collaboration with Antonio Gaspari, he drafted the entries of the encyclopaedia Santini da collezione (2008-2009) and Santini della Madonna di Lourdes (2008).