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This book examines the social and cultural consequences of a war normally looked at for its role in the story of Italian unification - the convergence of French, Austrian, and Piedmont-Sardinian armies in northern Italy in 1859, referred to in Italy as the "Second War for Independence." In doing so it focuses on a series of individuals who visited these battlefields during the war and in the years afterwards, coming right down to 1959. The reaction of these visitors to what they saw prompted, among other responses, the taking of the first photographs of the dead of war, the installation of a new form of war memorial, the creation of the International Red Cross, and, more generally a new public awareness - thanks to the journalists who covered the war - of the horrors of the modern battlefield. Indeed, this brief conflict jolted consciousness as perhaps no other European war between 1815 and 1914, and it did so in some of the same ways as the Great War would.

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