The author's credentials as the former editor-in-chief of The Economist was a key attraction for me: I expected engaging accounts that would provide real insight on what are working and not working in Italy. Unfortunately, I found the book disappointingly lacking in both insight and engagement. In most cases, the "before" and "after" of various reforms are recounted without any description of how they were accomplished. In discussing of the reforms at Turin's Egyptian museum, for example, we are told that after some "tussels" with employees, the new director magically accomplished changes in their work habits, without a single word on how that was done. Lots of interesting statistics are cited without any further elaboration. As someone who is a relative newcomer to Italy's modern political and economic woes, I feel that I learned nothing new from reading this book, which could have been so much more interesting and informative.