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Philosophy Political

Civilization and Democracy

The Salvernini Anthology of Cattaneo's Writings

by (author) Carlo Cattaneo

edited by Carlo Lacaita & Filippo Sabetti

translated by David Gibbons

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2006
Political, General, Italian
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2006
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  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Dec 2006
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  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2006
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Nineteenth-century Italy is a vast, unexplored territory in the history of modern political thought and liberal democratic theory. Apart from Mazzini, Pareto, and Mosca, the authors of this period are little read, even though their central concerns – the riddle of human liberation, progress, and liberty – are as important today as ever. This volume presents a selection of the writings of Carlo Cattaneo (1801-1869), one of the period's most important thinkers, as selected by an equally important personage of a subsequent time, the anti-Fascist intellectual Gaetano Salvemini.


Cattaneo had a profound sense of the historical contingencies underlying the quest both to understand human affairs and to realize a self-governing society. Cattaneo's ideas and framework of analysis – like those of John Stuart Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville – were not shaped by a narrow intra-academic agenda but by the great social, economic, and political transformations of his time. The issues he addressed included problems of revolution, reform, and change in the passage to modernity, which extended far beyond the confines of nineteenth-century Italy.


The selection of original pieces presented in this translation is preceded by an introduction by the editors, Carlo G. Lacaita and Filippo Sabetti, which guides the reader through Cattaneo's thinking and puts it in a comparative context. Ultimately, however, it is the editors' goal to let this profound Italian thinker speak for himself.

About the authors

Carlo Cattaneo (1801-1869) was a philosopher and political economist.

Carlo Cattaneo's profile page

Charles G. Lacaita, formerly Professor of Contemporary History in the Faculty of Political Science, University of Milan, is chairman of the scientific committee for the publication of the works of Carlo Cattaneo and the Association for the History of Science and Technology in the Age of Industrialization (ASSTI).

Carlo Lacaita's profile page

Filippo Sabetti is a professor in the Department of Political Science at McGill University.

Filippo Sabetti's profile page

David Gibbons is a translator and researcher based in northern Italy.

David Gibbons' profile page

Other titles by Filippo Sabetti

Other titles by David Gibbons