The Italians have been responsible for many well-known first - the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei spring to mind - but there are many more who deserve much wider recognition. The Italian influence on world-wide architecture, literature (including Shakespeare and other dramatists), art, cooking, fashion, design generally, science and medicine is immense. They were the first with contraception, first to split the atom, the first microprocessor, MOS silicon gate technology and hence the central processing unit of PCs. As the author says: "...from the moment we wake up until we go to bed, there is no way in which we can ignore what the Italians have contributed...If your clock wakes you up, it is because of the Italian development of horology. If your radio is on, then you owe it to Volta who discovered electricity and to Marconi who developed radio wavelengths...Stuck on a motorway ...Think of the first "Autostrada"...If in your spare time you tend to your garden, or go to the theatre, ballet, bowling or to the circus, Italians were there first ..." "The Italian Achievement" lists over 1000 'Firsts', it gives references to validate its claims (where possible).
The author also puts Italians and their achievements in international context. The author's love and respect for his country shines through, but he is not afraid to be critical where he believes this is warranted. There is a wealth of information for everybody in the book.