Alessandro Barbero

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Alessandro Barbero
Alessandro Barbero giving a lecture
Born (1959-04-30) April 30, 1959 (age 59)
Turin, Italy
Citizenship Italian
Alma mater
Scientific career
Fields Medieval and military history
Academic advisors Giovanni Tabacco

Alessandro Barbero (born April 30, 1959) is an Italian historian, novelist and essayist.

Barbero was born in Turin. He attended the University of Turin, where he studied literature and Medieval history. He won the 1996 Strega Prize, Italy's most distinguished literary award, for Bella vita e guerre altrui di Mr. Pyle gentiluomo. His second novel, Romanzo russo. Fiutando i futuri supplizi, has been translated into English as The Anonymous Novel. Sensing the Future Torments (Sulaisiadar 'san Rudha: Vagabond Voices, 2010). Its critical success in Italy has been repeated in Britain: Franco Cardini wrote in Il Giornale, "Barbero uses the diabolic skills of an erudite and professional narrator to seek out massacres of the distant and recent past. The Anonymous Novel concerns the past-that-never-passes (whether Tsarist or Stalinist) and the future that in 1988 was impending and has now arrived". Allan Massie wrote in The Scotsman, ""If you have any feeling for Russia or for the art of the novel, then read this one. You will find it an enriching experience," and Eric Hobsbawm wrote in The Observer, "The Anonymous Novel: Sensing the Future Torments, from a new publisher, Vagabond Voices, situated on the Isle of Lewis, is a vivid novel about Russians coping with the transition from communism to capitalism and combines echoes of Bulgakov with elements of a thriller."

Barbero is the author of The Battle, a highly regarded account of the Battle of Waterloo, which has been translated into English. Other histories he has written which have been translated into English include The Day of the Barbarians, the story of the Battle of Adrianople, and Charlemagne: Father of a Continent.

Barbero is not only a novelist and historian, but also a hyperactive commentator and organiser on the Italian cultural scene: he is currently a member of the Management Committee of the Premio Strega and the Editorial Committee of the magazine Storica; he writes for the literary and cultural pages of Il sole - 24 ore and La Stampa, and regularly appears on the television programme Superquark and radio programme Alle otto della sera. He is the editor of Storia d'Europa e del Mediterraneo, which is published by Salerno Editore.

In 2005, the Republic of France awarded Barbero with the title of "Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres".


  • Bella vita e guerre altrui di Mr. Pyle gentiluomo (1995)
  • Romanzo russo. Fiutando i futuri supplizi (1998)
    • The Anonymous Novel. Sensing the Future Torments, Vagabond Voices. Alba, Scotland (2010)
  • L'ultima rosa di Lautrec, Mondadori (2001)
  • Poeta al comando, Mondadori (2003)
  • Charlemagne: Father of a continent, Taylor & Francis US (2004).

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