This book has challenged various notions about Venice, such as the claim that the Italian city's history offers little with which modern-day visitors can identify personally, or that its history is dead just like Venice itself. It has argued that Venice actually boasts copious histories, many of which are modern, and that the city has been subject to change like any other place. In other words, time has not stood still in Venice. From the years after 1866, when Venetians learned to live under the rule of liberalism, to the glamour and squalor of the belle époque, Venice has actually experienced the full impact of contemporary history. The book has also chronicled Venice's experience with totalitarianism through the years of Benito Mussolini's rule, as well as the disputes involving cosmopolitanism and nationalism, Fascism and anti-Fascism, and between particularists and defenders of the Catholic Church.
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