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The Economic History of Italy 1860-1990 gives a scholarly and authoritative account of Italy's progress from a rural economy to an industrialized nation, covering in detail agriculture, trade, banking, public intervention, the standard of living, and education. It provides an interpretative account of the economic history of Italy since unification and offers an extensive resource of quantitative data. Professor Zamagni argues that Italy only effectively became an industrialized nation after the Second World War, with the south still being clearly behind the rest of the country. Her argument makes use of both macroeconomic approaches, in looking at the growth of income, investment, consumption, trade, and the role of the state, and microeconomic approaches, drawing conclusions from the history of individual banks and corporations. Italy's movement from peripheral status in Europe to a central position as a prosperous country was achieved through a remarkable flexibility in adapting new technology and new institutions.