Joseph Luzzi is the author of Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy, which won the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern Language Association. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Bookforum, and The Times Literary Supplement. He has received an essay award from the Dante Society of America, a teaching prize from Yale College, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The first American-born child in his Italian family, he earned his doctorate from Yale University and is a professor at Bard College.
In his new book, My Two Italies, Joseph Luzzi - child of Italian immigrants and an award-winning scholar of Italian literature - straddles these two perspectives to link his family’s dramatic story to Italy’s north-south divide, its quest for a unifying language, and its passion for art, food, and family.
When Hitler’s armies occupied Italy in 1943, they also seized control of mankind’s greatest cultural treasures. As they had done throughout Europe, the Nazis could now plunder the masterpieces of the Renaissance, the treasures of the Vatican, and the antiquities of the Roman Empire.
Robert Edsel joins us to talk about the efforts to save Italy’s great artistic treasures from the Nazis.