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An efficient distillation of history provides the clear mainstream of Garibaldi's tempestuous life and adds another volume to Knopf's A Great Life In Brief series. Written in compact, well knit prose, the chapters characterize the man as well as his times, yet seem remarkably toned down; the writer has let none of the color and fantastic events which had surrounded Garibaldi run away with him. Sticking closely to the facts, he tells us of Garibaldi's lowly birth and childhood, the beginning of a life of the sea and then the intrusion of his own strong convictions about the rights of man and Italian unity that led him into his first political plot and exile in 1833. By the time he was 26 Garibaldi had become an outlaw, but of a Robin Hood variety, and was to cover himself with glory fighting against tyranny in Brazil and Uruguay. As simple and strong minded as he was, Garibaldi often found it easy to confuse issues and fight for what he thought was right. artly because of this he was criticized later for sacrificing European peace to the cause of Italian unity; but in his convictions he was always at least consistent. Unfailingly on the side of freedom and the common man, Garibaldi rose above his mistakes and misrepresentations to go down in history as an essentially true liberator. With this as his theme, Mr. Smith touches enough on both the private and the complicated political elements of Garibaldi's life to make his point clear.

Publisher: Knopf