John Dickie is professor of Italian Studies at University College London. In 2005 the President of the Italian Republic appointed him a Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana. John has published widely in academic journals on various topics in Italian history and he has also written extensively for the press in the UK, Italy and other countries. Apart from Cosa Nostra, Delizia!, he is the author of two further books: Darkest Italy. The Nation and Stereotypes of the Mezzogiorno, 1860-1900 (New York, 1999) and (Rome, 2008) Una catastrofe patriottica. 1908: il terremoto di Messina. He lives in London with his wife, the novelist Sarah Penny, and their two children.