The article commends the very fruitful pairing of cultural and intellectual history in Axe Körner’s America in Italy. It also praises the transnational character of the history represented by the book. It then focuses on the historiographical question of studying particular countries and their historical development in terms of centres and peripheries. Using some examples from the attitudes towards Italy displayed in the mid-nineteenth century by highly influential thinkers in Britain and France (Matthew Arnold and Auguste Comte respectively) it suggests that, either such distinctions have to be abolished altogether, or, if they are employed, then Italy certainly was part of the core/centre of European and world history.
Keywords: Italy, core-periphery, "great nations", Matthew Arnold, Auguste Comte