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1 Burnside Italy- Fascism and WWII

Mussolini's Italy: Life Under the Fascist Dictatorship, 1915-1945

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Mussolini's Italy: Life Under the Fascist Dictatorship, 1915-1945 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From one of the greatest historians in the field, a vivid, brilliant history of Fascist Italy, rulers and ruled

life the period in which Italians participated in one of the twentieth century's largest, most notorious, and ultimately most ruinous political experiments-Fascism-under their dictator, Benito Mussolini, and his henchmen. The Fascists were the first totalitarians, and they provided a model for many other twentieth-century dictatorships, Hitler's first among them.

A regime based on a cult of violence and obedience, Fascism made immense demands on its subjects, killing many within Italy and its empire and ruining the lives of more. And yet one of R.J.B. Bosworth's most striking accomplishments is to show the gap that yawned between rhetoric and reality. Mussolini's Italy is lumped together with Hitler's Germany as a nightmarish totalitarian state that brutally reengineered an entire society. In fact, Bosworth argues, Fascism, though monstrous enough, had a far shallower impact on Italy because Italy was still such a traditional, undeveloped country, organized around family, tribe, and region, and because Italy's leaders were less ruthlessly ideological than the Nazis. Italians found many and ingenious ways of adapting, limiting, undermining, and ridiculing Mussolini's ambitions for them. The heart of this book is its engagement with the life of these ordinary Italians, struggling through terrible times.

Review:

"With this insightful, comprehensive study, Bosworth secures his place as one of the two leading historians in the English-speaking world (the other being Paul Ginsborg) of 20th-century Italy. Bosworth begins with an admission that he has embarked on an 'impossible project': 'to unveil the lives of Italians' from all walks of life 'under a generation of dictatorship.' Impossible, indeed, but what a grand attempt at a synthesis of social and political history he produces.While Mussolini and the party officials are at the center of the story, Bosworth dips into the Fascist police files to see what ordinary Italians were up to during the dictatorship, in order to portray a 'fascism of the everyday.' A good-natured drunken night on the town, ending with the singing of antifascist songs in the streets disturbing the people's sleep could land you in some God-forsaken remote village as punishment; further, the dictatorship was a corrupt and compromising affair. Yet Fascism in Italy, Bosworth frequently shows, was tempered by the continuing influence of the family and other nonparty institutions such as the Church, the army, the diplomatic corps and the universities.Another important feature is Bosworth's refusal to let 'Liberal Italy' (1860 — 1922) off the hook. From imperialism to racism, corruption to authoritarianism, liberal Italy, he says, laid the groundwork for the Fascist regime. And while he gives ample instances of the violent and at times murderous nature of the regime, Bosworth does exonerate the Italian people of falling for totalitarianism.If Italians come off well from 1922 to 1945, they look far less noble in the postwar period. Bosworth's last chapter, 'The Fascist Heritage,' is a disturbing account of the tenacious survival of fascism into contemporary Italy. While not as pessimistic as Ginsborg, Bosworth (Mussolini) still reminds us of the 'eternal tendency toward fascism.' 35 b&w illus. not seen by PW; 3 maps. (On sale Feb. 6)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"In the middle of the 19th century, two national causes above all others excited the enthusiasm of European liberals: the unification of Italy and the unification of Germany. As if to illustrate the saying about the grief brought by answered prayers, these unions duly came to pass — the one as a joke, the other a nightmare.

But maybe we should be careful about smiling too indulgently at... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Until now, books about Mussolini's Italy have focused primarily upon Mussolini and his inner circle. Bosworth's book, however, bucks that trend. Mussolini's Italy is not necessarily a study of politics and how the Fascists eventually rose to power, although this is an important part of the work. Instead it focuses on how the Fascist regime affected the everyday life of Italians. Bosworth has discovered that Italians did not surrender themselves wholeheartedly to the will of the state, but instead maintained very strong local, regional, and familial ties. He argues that these local relationships were just as responsible as the state, if not more so, for shaping the opinions and ideas of Italians. Bosworth does not contend that Italians weren't pro-Fascist; rather, he says that during the regime's lifetime, being Italian certainly also meant being Fascist. He argues, however, that regionalism was an obstacle to absolute ideological control that the Fascists were never completely capable of overcoming. The book is an impressive piece of scholarship, but many parts often come across as apologetic, especially when Italy is directly compared to Germany. Although the Italian regime was not as brutal as the German one, the book in certain points borders on playing down the crimes Italian Fascists committed on the grounds that they were not as cruel as the Nazi's horrors. Comparisons to Hitler's regime are inevitable, but such comparisons are troublesome when presented in a relativistic manner such as Bosworth's. This fault is only a minor one, however, and does not depreciate the overall value of a truly important work." Reviewed by Michael Callahan, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

Synopsis:

The author brings to life the period in which Italians participated in one of the 20th century's largest, most notorious, and ultimately ruinous political experiments--Fascism--under Benito Mussolini and his henchmen.

Synopsis:

With Mussolini and#146;s Italy, R.J.B. Bosworthand#151;the foremost scholar on the subject writing in Englishand#151;vividly brings to life the period in which Italians participated in one of the twentieth centuryand#146;s most notorious political experiments. Il Duceand#146;s Fascists were the original totalitarians, espousing a cult of violence and obedience that inspired many other dictatorships, Hitlerand#146;s first among them. But as Bosworth reveals, many Italians resisted its ideology, finding ways, ingenious and varied, to keep Fascism from taking hold as deeply as it did in Germany. A sweeping chronicle of struggle in terrible times, this is the definitive account of Italyand#146;s darkest hour.

Synopsis:

With Mussolini and#146;s Italy, R.J.B. Bosworthand#151;the foremost scholar on the subject writing in Englishand#151;vividly brings to life the period in which Italians participated in one of the twentieth centuryand#146;s most notorious political experiments. Il Duceand#146;s Fascists were the original totalitarians, espousing a cult of violence and obedience that inspired many other dictatorships, Hitlerand#146;s first among them. But as Bosworth reveals, many Italians resisted its ideology, finding ways, ingenious and varied, to keep Fascism from taking hold as deeply as it did in Germany. A sweeping chronicle of struggle in terrible times, this is the definitive account of Italyand#146;s darkest hour.

About the Author

R.J.B. Bosworth's prizewinning Mussolini was greeted on publication in 2002 as the definitive life of Il Duce. Bosworth is professor of history at the University of Western Australia and has been a Visiting Fellow at a number of institutions, including the Italian Academy at Columbia University, Clare Hall (Cambridge), Balliol College (Oxford), All Souls College (Oxford), and the University of Trento.

Table of Contents

Mussolini's Italy List of illustrations

List of abbreviations

Note on further reading

Maps

Preface

Introduction

1. One Italy or another before 1914

2. Liberal and dynastic war

3. Popular and national war

4. 1919

5. Becoming a Fascist

6. Learning to rule in the provinces

7. Learning to rule from Rome

8. Building a totalitarian dictatorship

9. Forging Fascist society

10. Placing Italy in Europe

11. Going to the people

12. Dictating full-time

13. Becoming imperialists

14. Embracing Nazi Germany

15. Lurching into war

16. The wages of Fascist war

17. Losing all the wars

18. The Fascist heritage

Conclusion

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594200786
Subtitle:
Life Under the Fascist Dictatorship, 1915-1945
Author:
Bosworth, R. J. B.
Author:
Bosworth, Richard
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
History
Subject:
Europe - Italy
Subject:
Fascism
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Fascism & Totalitarianism
Subject:
Italy
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20070130
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-page b/w photo insert; 3 b/w maps
Pages:
720
Dimensions:
9.42x6.82x2.13 in. 2.38 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Italy » Fascism and WWII
History and Social Science » World History » Italy

Mussolini's Italy: Life Under the Fascist Dictatorship, 1915-1945 Used Hardcover
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$14.95 In Stock
Product details 720 pages Penguin Press - English 9781594200786 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With this insightful, comprehensive study, Bosworth secures his place as one of the two leading historians in the English-speaking world (the other being Paul Ginsborg) of 20th-century Italy. Bosworth begins with an admission that he has embarked on an 'impossible project': 'to unveil the lives of Italians' from all walks of life 'under a generation of dictatorship.' Impossible, indeed, but what a grand attempt at a synthesis of social and political history he produces.While Mussolini and the party officials are at the center of the story, Bosworth dips into the Fascist police files to see what ordinary Italians were up to during the dictatorship, in order to portray a 'fascism of the everyday.' A good-natured drunken night on the town, ending with the singing of antifascist songs in the streets disturbing the people's sleep could land you in some God-forsaken remote village as punishment; further, the dictatorship was a corrupt and compromising affair. Yet Fascism in Italy, Bosworth frequently shows, was tempered by the continuing influence of the family and other nonparty institutions such as the Church, the army, the diplomatic corps and the universities.Another important feature is Bosworth's refusal to let 'Liberal Italy' (1860 — 1922) off the hook. From imperialism to racism, corruption to authoritarianism, liberal Italy, he says, laid the groundwork for the Fascist regime. And while he gives ample instances of the violent and at times murderous nature of the regime, Bosworth does exonerate the Italian people of falling for totalitarianism.If Italians come off well from 1922 to 1945, they look far less noble in the postwar period. Bosworth's last chapter, 'The Fascist Heritage,' is a disturbing account of the tenacious survival of fascism into contemporary Italy. While not as pessimistic as Ginsborg, Bosworth (Mussolini) still reminds us of the 'eternal tendency toward fascism.' 35 b&w illus. not seen by PW; 3 maps. (On sale Feb. 6)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The author brings to life the period in which Italians participated in one of the 20th century's largest, most notorious, and ultimately ruinous political experiments--Fascism--under Benito Mussolini and his henchmen.
"Synopsis" by ,
With Mussolini and#146;s Italy, R.J.B. Bosworthand#151;the foremost scholar on the subject writing in Englishand#151;vividly brings to life the period in which Italians participated in one of the twentieth centuryand#146;s most notorious political experiments. Il Duceand#146;s Fascists were the original totalitarians, espousing a cult of violence and obedience that inspired many other dictatorships, Hitlerand#146;s first among them. But as Bosworth reveals, many Italians resisted its ideology, finding ways, ingenious and varied, to keep Fascism from taking hold as deeply as it did in Germany. A sweeping chronicle of struggle in terrible times, this is the definitive account of Italyand#146;s darkest hour.

"Synopsis" by ,
With Mussolini and#146;s Italy, R.J.B. Bosworthand#151;the foremost scholar on the subject writing in Englishand#151;vividly brings to life the period in which Italians participated in one of the twentieth centuryand#146;s most notorious political experiments. Il Duceand#146;s Fascists were the original totalitarians, espousing a cult of violence and obedience that inspired many other dictatorships, Hitlerand#146;s first among them. But as Bosworth reveals, many Italians resisted its ideology, finding ways, ingenious and varied, to keep Fascism from taking hold as deeply as it did in Germany. A sweeping chronicle of struggle in terrible times, this is the definitive account of Italyand#146;s darkest hour.

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