Few people other than scholars of European diplomatic history are likely to read this enormous volume, published in Italy in 1951, nine years before the death of its author, one of Italy's greatest historians. And yet it is a most impressive and interesting work, to which Chabod devoted many years of his life. It is far more than a diplomatic history. By examining the intellectual currents and affinities of Italian elites, the personalities and policies of Italy's leaders, the debates in the press and in parliament, the main policy issues taken up during the period 1870-96, as well as the diplomatic maneuvers of the time, Chabod has produced a kind of total history that is a monument of scholarship, splendidly organized. Another merit of the book is a trio of fine introductory essays about Chabod by Charles S. Maier, Francesco Tuccari, and Walter Maturi.