381 CHRONICLESnAfter 20 years of one party rule, fromn1923-43, it seemed to rebound intonvirtual chaos. There have been 46 governmentsnsince World War II, not tonmention the terrorism of the past twondecades. Yale Professor Joseph La-nPalombara has written Democracy ItaliannStyle to remind us that Italy is a realnsuccess story.nFar from being chaotic, Italy’s governmentnis too stable. One party, thenCatholic Christian Democrats, hasndominated every government since thenwar, and the first eight governmentsnwere headed by one man, Alcide DenGasperi, Italy’s Adenauer. Three mennhave been prime minister for ten of thenpast 15 years. When not heading thengovernment, they are still in the cabinet,nproviding continuity and experience.nItaly’s politics do not fit into ournvision of a perfect state. We believe innthe separation of church and state.nTheir most powerful party is Catholic.nWe are anticommunist and Italy’s No.n2 party is Communist. Over the pastntwo decades we have been treated tonpredictions of right-wing coups and thenCommunists’ overtaking the ChristiannDemocrats in the vote. Yet the percentagesnof the Italian vote are prettynmuch what they were 30 years ago.nItaly is a secure and stable country withna relatively prosperous economy.nAlthough LaPalombara defends thensuccess of the Italian political class, henhas sharp words for the Italian intelligentsia.nThis comes out most clearly innhis chapter on terrorism, which almostnbroke the Italian democracy during then1970’s. The violence and villainy ofnthe Red Brigades and other terroristsnwere encouraged by irresponsible negativity.nThe great novelist LeonardonSciascia could proclaim, “I stand neithernwith the state nor with the RednBrigades,” at a time of literally dailynkillings and maimings. LaPalombara’snclear f accuse launched against the Italiannintellectuals who supported terrorismnin their nation’s worst hours isneloquent and courageous.nBut at times LaPalombara gets carriednaway. To describe Italy’s massiventax evasion as “democratic” is silly,nespecially since he believes that Italy’sndeficit would disappear if everyonenpaid up. (Most people think that overtaxationnis the root of the problem.)nLaPalombara not only praises Italy’snpolitical class, but also its partitocrazia,nthe rule of the parties. I cannot gonalong with this. If Italy had a law that anparty needed 5 percent of the vote tonget into Parliament, there would benonly four parties there, instead of ten.n(If the cut-off point were 10 percent,nthere would be only three parties, andnthe Socialists have climbed to over 10npercent only in the last few years.) As itnis, parties with derisory percentages ofnthe vote not only get into Parliament,nthus making majorities more difficult,nbut help to form governments andneven furnish prime ministers. Spadolini,nwhose Republicans were luckynto get 3 percent of the vote, gotnhimself, with Socialist connivance, appointednhead of two governments fornnearly two years — a mockery of democracy.nThe serious problem withncorruption in Italy is partly due to thenparties’ blatant misuse of the spoilsnsystem.nLaPalombara has a few well-chosennwords on Marco Panella and his Radicals,npublicity hounds for whose anticsnAmericans often fall, but his admirationnfor Socialist Bettino Craxi seemsnto me excessive. Italy survived thennear-catastrophe of the 70’s because ofnGiulio Andreotti’s leadership duringnthe crucial years 1976-79. Terrorismnmet its most important defeats then,nthe economy was put on a stable base,nand the growing support for communismnwas turned around. Craxi’s hystericalnjealousy of Andreotti is one ofnhis less admirable traits, along with hisnpoor responses to the Moro kidnappingnand the Achille Lauro affair, when henallowed the mastermind of the atrocitynto walk out of Italy.nLuigi Barzini’s The Italians (1964)nis still the best introduction to Italy fornthe average American. Frederic Spottsnand Theodor Wieser’s Italy: A DifficultnDemocracy (1986) is a clearernpresentation of the most importantnfacts (except on terrorism, wherenLaPalombara is far better). Americannreaders who know something of Italynwill be grateful to Joseph LaPalombaranfor giving us a lively and factual accountnof why Italian democracy, so farnfrom being the Sick Man of Europe, isnalive and kicking.nE. Christian Kopff is professor ofnclassics at the University of Colorado,nBoulder.nnnInterpreting Burkenby foe Pappin HInEdmund Burke: Prescription &nProvidence by Francis P. Canavan,nDurham, NC: Carolina AcademicnPress and the Claremont Institutenfor the Study of Statemanship andnPolitical Philosophy.nFather Francis P. Canavan, S.J., withnthe publication of this his second booknon Edmund Burke, clearly establishesnhimself as one of the most—if not thenmost—able interpreter of Burke’s politicalnphilosophy. Here Canavan focusesnupon topics of enormous importnfor fathoming Burke’s political philosophy,nincluding theological influencesnon Burke, his religious faith, the relationshipnof the doctrine of creation tonBurke’s politics, and the doctrines ofnprescription and providence, especiallynas they concern the question of Burke’snhistoricism and relativism.nThe last two themes mentioned arenthe shadow themes which hauntnBurke’s doctrine of prescription andnprovidence. Canavan’s response to attemptsnto reduce Burke to a historicalnrelativist results in a work that transcendsnnarrow professional concerns,neven while it meets foursquare bothnrecently revived and lingering problemsnin Burke scholarship.nCanavan sets out to support thenclaim that Burke’s political philosophynis developed within the framework of anrealist metaphysics shaped by the biblicalndoctrine of creation, and influencednby Burke’s reading of Christian theology.nCanavan accomplishes this ratherntall order in the first two chapters,nconsulting a formidable list of theologians,nAnglican divines and dissentersnalike, who most likely formed Burke’snworld view. This list includes RichardnHooker, Joseph Butler, EdwardnStillingfleet, John Tillotson, and JamesnFoster. Though Protestant, these theologiansnare neither voluntarists nornnominalists. They hold to creation exnnihilo, according to a divine plan,nemphasizing the radical contingency ofnthings, and a universe which is essentiallynintelligible and accessible in itsnstructure to human reason. From thisnemerges a natural law which is normativenfor human actions and morality.nThe Anglicans held to a teleologicalnview of the universe and history, thatn