The Sack of Rome: Book summary and reviews of The Sack of Rome by Alexander Stille

The Sack of Rome

How a Beautiful European Country with a Fabled History and a Storied Culture Was Taken over by a Man Named Silvio Berlusconi

by Alexander Stille

The Sack of Rome by Alexander Stille

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Book Summary

Imagine if the president of the United States was also the Senate majority leader, possessed Rupert Murdoch's and Mike Bloomberg's media holdings, was as rich as Bill Gates, had the real estate empire and personal arrogance of Donald Trump, and had ties to organized crime, and you begin to get an idea of the hold Silvio Berlusconi has over Italian public life as Prime Minister. Conflict of interest? The lawyer who has defended him against corruption is also the president of the Justice Commission of the Italian parliament, which, not coincidentally, retroactively decriminalized many of the offenses with which Berlusconi has been charged. Berlusconi controls the political content that is carried over his television and radio stations, in his newspapers, and in the books published by the houses he owns. His shadow falls one way or another on every corner of Italy and virtually every aspect of Italian life. How did this happen? What does it mean?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred review. In this astute analysis of contemporary Italian political culture under Berlusconi, Stille intricately yet seamlessly traces the prime minister's rise from Milan real estate developer to international political phenomenon." - PW.
"Somewhat dense in details but clear in plot, Stille's account is an informed, even entertaining, access point for understanding Italy's political present." - Booklist.
"Good reading for those interested in the intersections of money, personality, media and politics." - Kirkus.

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A cautionary tale of what unlimited money, celebrity, and media dominance combined with popular politics can do! Berlusconi lost the elections last month by a very small margin. Initially he demanded a recount, but submitted his resignation in early May.

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