This book is an outstanding collection of readings in Italian designed to introduce language students to contemporary Italian culture while developing their skills in reading, speaking, writing, and listening. The selections in L'Italia verso il Duemila range from essays on serious topics such as recent history and politics, the Italian economy, immigration from developing countries, the North-South gap, and the environment, to lighter pieces on Italian surnames, traditions, food, popular music, and soccer. Suggested activities designed to facilitate development of language skills, comprehension, and grammar review accompany the readings.Although it requires a knowledge of basic grammar, L'Italia verso il Duemila may be used as early as the second semester of an intensive beginning Italian course. The book is organized into three sections: Tradizioni, Storia e politica contemporanea, and Sviluppi, each representing an increasing level of difficulty. Definitions are given for vocabulary that is likely to be unfamiliar to students.This book is designed to offer students and instructors material to suit a wide range of individual tastes while reinforcing the basic language skills essential for achieving competence in a foreign language.
Ugo Skubikowski is a professor in the Department of Italian at Middlebury College.