AIN STREET, ITALY by Irving R. evine

AIN STREET, ITALY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

While not possessing any great literary merit, Main Street, Italy does provide an extremely sharp profile of Italian manners and morals today. Also, the Italians themselves are as fascinating a populace as has ever piqued the interest of the curious traveller. In sunny Italy time in the grave is rationed (you're dug up after ten years and moved to low-priority earth.) Only in Italy may a university professor stop dead in his tracks to inspect the charms of a passing beauty, turn, study her until she disappears, then walk on refreshed without the slightest self-consciousness. For the divesting eye is the national pastime. Mr. Levine's intent here is to convey some basic information about the everyday life of Italians. He presents their customs, politics, religion, recent history, factories, labor unions, schools, taxes, banks, loan companies, telephones, comes, theaters, cars--all in a mosaic that suggests the whole. Italy itself is divided into Northern (prosperous), Middle (middling) and Southern (impoverished), all of which could seem to make generalisation about ""the Italians"" not simply difficult but preposterous. Perhaps their two most widely developed characteristics, however, are disputatiousness and a blithe inability to keep promises. According to Mr. Levine, an Italian's is not worth the air it's spoken on. If you like Italy you'll like this intelligent report.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday