Books: Cammina! Cammina!

ORPHEUS AT EIGHTY (372 pp.)—Vincent Sheean—Random House ($5).

To the Austrians who ruled northern Italy in the mid-19th century, the word Verdi was a nightmare. It haunted them from the very walls in huge letters, like the V sign of World War II. The great risorgimento that threw out the alien rulers and made the Italians a nation used Verdi as its symbolic pun—a tribute to Italy's greatest composer and a proud abbreviation for the name and title of its King, "Vittorio Emanuele, Re è d'Italia."

Nobody can explain just how the operas of Giuseppe Verdi...

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