An exceptionally original exploration into the ideology of Fascism
from its conception through to its abiding legacy.
WINNER OF THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE
Christopher Duggan is Professor of Italian History at Reading University. He has written several books on modern Italian history, including History of Sicily, with M. I. Finley and D. Mack Smith, Fascism and the Mafia, A concise history of Italy and Francesco Crispi- From Nation to Nationalism. His most recent book is The Force of Destiny- a History of Italy Since 1796.
A fascinating exploration of the letters that 'ordinary' Italians
who supported fascism wrote to Mussolini in the 1920s and 1930s *
Glasgow Sunday Herald *
This original, revealing and disturbing book provides a grassroots view of fascist Italy * Independent *
Duggan's superbly researched book uncovers the nasty reality of [Mussolini's] regime and demonstrates that there was a disturbing symbiotic relationship between fascism and the Catholic Church * Mail on Sunday *
In his magnificent new book, a pathbreaking study that everyone interested in Fascism, or in Italy past and present, should read, Christopher Duggan fills the gap by examining a wide range of diaries... This enables Duggan to deliver not merely a detailed account of popular attitudes towards the regime, but, far more, a general history of Fascism that for the first time treats it, not as a tyranny that allowed ordinary Italians no possibility of expressing themselves freely, nor as the brutal dictatorship of a capitalist class that reduced the great majority of the country's citizens to the status of victims, but as a regime rooted strongly in popular aspirations and desires. -- Richard J. Evans * London Review of Books *
Magnificent...a pathbreaking study that everyone interested in fascism, or in Italy past and present, should read * London Review of Books *
In this thoroughly engaging history, Duggan (The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796), an expert on Italian history, chronicles Mussolini's rise, reign, and fall through a close examination of journals, letters, telegrams, and other textual artifacts from before and during WWII. Taken together, they capture by turns the Italian people's love and hatred of their leader, as well as the sheer strangeness of living in a fascist state. Mussolini's "broad church" of fascism brought many of his countrymen and women into the fold, and Duggan's account presents jaw-dropping examples of their attachment to Il Duce. One author wrote a book called The Imitation of Mussolini; schoolchildren were taught a poem about Mussolini and his mother; female admirers wrote love letters. Others, however, furtively recorded their principled opposition to the violence of the fascist regime. In a powerful shift to the present, Duggan ends the book with a selection of laudatory entries recently penned in the guestbook at Mussolini's tomb-a sobering reminder that though Il Duce is dead, his strange and mercurial allure lives on. 2 maps. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.