Pretty impartial

October 25, 2002

Stephen Gundle (Letters, THES , October 18) perversely misreads my review of Paul Ginsborg's Italy and its Discontents (Books, THES , September ) as a personal attack on Ginsborg. He fails to understand that prettifying Berlusconi and clientelism does not imply Ginsborg's support for either, but reflects a practice by historians of observing arbitrary limits to discourse, sparing cross-party politics and society from embarrassing truths. Precision and documentation do not guarantee a true overall picture and may, as in Gundle's case, impede perception of a false one.

Domenico Pacitti
University of Pisa

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