“A thoroughly researched, well-written, ageless narrative of a fascinating people.”— Kirkus, starred review

“If you want to get beyond the stereotypes, The Italians is a good place to star”— Fiona Capp, Sydney Morning Herald

“His book is both valuable and readable, a lucid and elegantly flowing description of a people.”— John Lloyd, The Financial Times

“Hooper has written a fascinating, affectionate and well-researched study that delivers the tantalising flavour of a country as hot, cold, bitter and sweet as an affogato.”— Christian House, The Telegraph

“A fascinating study of the fundamentals and foibles of Italy’s people.”— Publishers Weekly

“A great disappointment.”— Tobias Jones, The Sunday Times

“Hooper … has a foreign correspondent’s eye for a colourful story … this 300-page book is fuelled by scores of cracking yarns …”— Richard Morrison, The Times

“John Hooper refuses to succumb to easy cliche while explaining the best and worst of Italy.”— John Kampfner, The Observer

“The author, with the fluency of the well-informed journalist .. writes as he might speak in conversation over dinner, never delving too deeply into any topic but ready with relevant comment on almost everything.”— Brian Sewell, The Independent on Sunday

“A delight to read”— Allen Barra, Dallas Morning News

“There is hardly an aspect of Italian life that is not keenly analysed somewhere in these nineteen chapters … fascinating”— Jan Morris, Literary Review

“Hooper has the skills of the good reporter, vividly portraying his own experiences of Italian society, an eye for the telling anecdote, the ability to source and showcase a fascinating array of facts and statistics, the tenaciousness to peel apart our clichés or easy definitions of a country beloved of many.”— Rebecca K Morrison, The Independent

“This book is stuffed with statistics from all manner of international bodies, even on how often Italian women have orgasms.They reminded me of those interminable speeches by Fidel Castro on the Cuban sugar harvest in which he used to reel off figures signifying nothing.”— Nicholas Farrell, The Spectator

“Italy remains the most fascinating of countries, often perplexing and yet always engaging. Hooper does it justice.”— Allan Massie, The Scotsman

“You have to know your stuff to ascribe such traits to nations without lapsing into generalisations. Hooper does.” — Kevin Gopal, The Big Issue

“A perceptive and entertaining insider’s portrait”— Richard Owen, The Tablet

“John Hooper has written a fine introduction to these complex characters … contrary, dark, maddening and brilliant”— Roger Lewis, Mail on Sunday

“An enjoyable and eye-opening tour through modern Italy … a deft and enjoyable treatment of an endlessly fascinating topic”— John Gallagher, The Guardian

“Hooper non si lascia sedurre dal comodo e rassicurante stereotipo: il suo “ritratto di una nazione” (portrait of a nation), come egli stesso definisce The Italians, vuole proporre il suo personale Grand Tour della penisola e in particolar modo dei suoi abitanti … Noi beviamo il caffè, loro il tè. Eppure, è così affascinante quando un John Hooper ordina un espresso e un Beppe Severgnini sorseggia un English Breakfast.”— Elena Arcudi, Retro Magazine

“It takes a true insider, yet one who is enough of an outlier, to provide full and proper perspective. Few, if any, fit the bill better than sharp-eyed journalist John Hooper.”— Christopher Loudon, Maclean’s

“Hooper handles Italy’s muddle of contradictions to produce a fine read.”— Nick Bruno, The Italian Insider

“Hooper tackles his subject through a mix of historical analysis and hard data, as well as a patient study of Italian literature and cinema, adding all this to his years of day-to-day observation … sweeping in scope and generous with detail” — Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times

“In this wide-ranging book, Hooper delves into Italy’s past and present.” — June Sawyers, The Baltimore Sun

“Entrancing narrative about what Italy is and who Italians are.” — Denis MacShane, Tribune

“Brimful of fascinating tales and … written with great affection.” — Jon Wright, Geographical

“Hooper knows his Italy. He not only hits all the right themes but also puts them in the right order.” — Erik Jones, Survival


“For anyone wanting a sweeping, honest view of modern Italy, “The Italians” is a must-read.”— Mozzarella Mamma

“You’ll walk away enriched and enlightened”— Unamericanaaroma

“Entertaining and revealing … reads like a fascinating dinner conversation”— Artrav

“As a way of mugging up on a place in an accessible and helpful way, it can’t be faulted.”— Clothes in Books

“I am grateful to have discovered this book … and I will certainly be reading it again.”— An Italophile

“A gateway into a vibrant, complex and continually evolving nation.”— The Longitude Blog

“sicuramente utile agli stranieri appassionati del nostro Paese, ma non solo … Ancor più utile a noi italiani … Questo libro è un must!”— Quotidiano Impresa

“A well written, incisive, honest depiction of a country so many love and so few — including Italians themselves truly understand.”— Bleeding Espresso

“Un ottimo libro, per andare oltre i cliché.”— Il Blog di Giovanni Volpe