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Baron Sidney Costantino Sonnino (11 March 1847 – 24 November 1922) was an Italianmarker politician.

Sonnino was born in Pisamarker to an Italian father of Jewish heritage (Giorgio Sonnino, who converted himself to Anglicanism) and a Welshmarker mother. He was raised as a Protestant.

In 1876, Sonnino traveled to Sicily with Leopoldo Franchetti to conduct a private investigation into the state of Sicilian society. In 1877, the two men published their research on Sicily in a substantial two-part report for the Italian Parliament. In the first part Sonnino analysed the lives of the island's landless peasants. Leopoldo Franchetti's half of the report, Political and Administrative Conditions in Sicily, was an analysis of the Mafia in the nineteenth century that is still considered authoritative today. Franchetti would ultimately influence thinking about the Mafia more than anyone else until Giovanni Falcone over a hundred years later. Political and Administrative Conditions in Sicily is the first convincing explanation of how the Mafia came to be.

In 1878, Sonnino started a newspaper (La Rassegna Settimanale), which changed from weekly economical reviews to daily political issues. In 1893, after working in several governmental positions, he became finance minister of Italy. He worked in the opposition after the fall of his party from power as a result of the lost Battle of Adwamarker. He served twice briefly as Prime Minister, in 1906 and again from 1909 to 1910. On April 16 1909 Sonnino and Wilbur Wright went on a flight at Centocelle field, Rome, making Sonnino one of the earliest of statesmen to fly in an airplane.

After the events in 1914, Sonnino was initially supportive to the side of Germanymarker and Austria-Hungary, but after becoming foreign minister in November 1914, he sided with the Allied forces, and signed the Treaty of London in 1915. Italy consequently declared war on Austria-Hungary on May 23, 1915.

When his territorial ambitions towards Austria-Hungary were shattered during the Paris Peace Conference, his party lost power again, and Sonnino retired from politics.


  1. Dickie, Cosa Nostra, p. 43-54

  • Dickie, John (2004). Cosa Nostra. A history of the Sicilian Mafia, London: Coronet ISBN 0-340-82435-2

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