Despite the title and the cover photo of Pasolini on location with one of his actors, this large book is not primarily a study of Italian cinema. Rather, it tells and documents the story of Italy's cultural politics from the fateful elections of 1948, which inaugurated the generational dominance of the political party Democrazia Cristiana (DC), to the 1974 referendum on divorce that revealed the progressive abandonment of Catholic morality by the populace. In the Introduction and Epilogue, and at moments along the way, the vista expands back to the Counter Reformation and forward into the new millennium, while also moving beyond Italy to show how the country's trajectory ran parallel to other developments in the West. Domenico narrates from the Catholic vantage point in that he foregrounds in his selection and arrangement of materials the concerns and initiatives of both clergy and Catholic laymen—without failing to address Italy's powerful...

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