"This powerful work of cultural criticism ... feels chock-full of insight. It shines a harsh light on the risks in the way we live, much as Jane Jacobs did in 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities' more than 50 years ago."—The Washington Post

"Settis shows how the tragedy of Venice could happen to any city which has a past. It's a powerful polemic."—Richard Sennett, author of The Fall of Public Man and Professor of Sociology, New York University

“Anyone interested in learning what is really going on in Venice should read this book.”— Donna Leon, author of My Venice and Other Essays and Death at La Fenice


Salvatore Settis is an archaeologist, art historian and former director of the Getty Research Institute of Los Angeles and the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. His chairman of the Louvre Museum's Scientific Council and the author of several books on art history.


Alexander Stille is San Paolo Professor of International Journalism at Columbia University whose books include Benevolence and Betrayal: Five Italian Jewish Families Under Fascism and The Sack of Rome: How a Beautiful European Country with a Fabled History and a Storied Culture Was Taken Over by a Man Named Silvio Berlusconi.