Denis Mack Smith

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Denis Mack Smith CBE FBA FRSL (born 3 March 1920 in London) is an English historian, specialising in the history of Italy from the Risorgimento onwards. He is best known for studies of Garibaldi and Cavour and of Mussolini, and for his single-volume Modern Italy: A Political History. He was named Grand Official of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 1996.[1]

An Emeritus Fellow at All Souls College at the University of Oxford since 1987, Mack Smith has been considered the world's leading scholar on Italian history for the English world.[2] He belongs to the post-World War II generation of Cambridge historians, mostly based at Peterhouse, who learned to appreciate the primacy of documentary evidence. [3] He is an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and of Peterhouse, Cambridge. He received the Presidential Medal of Italy in 1984. [4][1].


  • Cavour and Garibaldi, 1860: A Study in Political Conflict, 1954.
  • Garibaldi: A Great Life in Brief, 1956.
  • Italy: A Modern History, 1958, revised 1969, completely revised and reprinted as Modern Italy: A Political History, 1997.
  • A History of Sicily, with Moses Finley, in two volumes, Medieval Sicily 800-1713 and Modern Sicily after 1713, 1968; abridged and reprinted as the single volume A History of Sicily with Moses Finley and Christopher Duggan, 1986.
  • The Making of Italy, 1796-1870, 1968 (editor), reprinted as The Making of Italy, 1796-1866, 1988.
  • Great Lives Observed: Garibaldi, 1969 (editor).
  • Victor Emanuel, Cavour and the Risorgimento, 1971.
  • Vittorio Emanuele II, 1975.
  • Mussolini's Roman Empire (Le guerre del Duce), 1976.
  • Mussolini, 1981.
  • Cavour, 1985.
  • Il Risorgimento italiano. Storia e testi, 1987.
  • Italy and its Monarchy, 1989.
  • Mazzini, 1994.
  • La storia manipolata, 1998.


  1. ^ Quirinale honorific page
  2. ^ "Denis Mack Smith and the Third Italy," (book review), reviewed work: Italy and Its Monarchy by Denis Mack Smith, review by: Richard Bosworth, The International History Review, Vol. 12, No. 4, November 1990, p. 782 
  3. ^ Lucy Riall (1999), Kelly Boyd, ed., Encyclopedia of Historians & Historical Writing, Vol. 2, M-Z, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, p. 751 
  4. ^ All Souls College at University of Oxford 

Further reading

  • The Art of Denis Mack Smith, Jonathan Steinberg, London Review of Books, 23 May 1985
  • The Great Pretender, A J P Taylor, The New York Review of Books, 5 August 1976
  • Society and Politics in the Age of the Risorgimento: Essays in honour of Denis Mack Smith, John A. Davis & Paul Ginsborg (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 1991 (ISBN 0521-365929)