The popular referendum of 1974 which affirmed Italy?s recently-won divorce law is widely regarded as a turning point in modern Italian history, but the long story behind that struggle has remained largely unfamiliar. Using the debates over divorce as a lens, this book is a study of the quest to modernize Italy, Italians, and Italian marriage. Although the 1974 referendum settled Italy?s ?divorce question,? the issues at the heart of that question ? particularly the relationship between individual rights, the state, and religion ? remain central to modern politics.

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