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Mussolini

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Mussolini Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Bosworth's Mussolini allows us to come closer than ever before to an understanding of the life and actions of the dictator and of the political world and society within which he operated. This biography paints a picture of brutality and failure in governance with insight into Mussolini as a human being shaped by the particular patterns of Italian society which were so vastly different from Axis partners Germany and Japan.

Mussolini was a brutal tyrant who added untold numbers to the dead of war torn Europe but we cannot understand his regime by equating it with Hitler or Stalin. His life began modestly in the provinces and he maintained a traditional family life for a man of his time including both a wife and mistresses. He sought in his way to be an intellectual but was capable of cruelty and was a racist with the consistency and vigor which would have made him a good recruit for the SS. He sought an empire but, for the most part, was more of an old-fashioned nineteenth century despot not a racial or ideological imperium.

His end came in 1945 in the closing days of World War II. Disguised in German greatcoat and helmet, Mussolini attempted to escape from the advancing Allied armies but was stopped by partisans who recognized his features, made so familiar by Fascist propaganda which eventually gave him away, and within 24 hours he was publicly executed.

Richard Bosworth is a leading authority on modern Italian history. He has been a Visiting Fellow at a number of institutions, including the Italian Academy at Columbia University, Clare Hall (Cambridge), Balliol (Oxford), and the Humanities Research Centre (Canberra). He is currently a Professor of History at the University of Western Australia.

Richard Bosworth's Mussolini allows us to come closer than ever before to an understanding of the life and actions of the dictator and of the political world and society within which he operated. This biography paints a picture of brutality and failure in governance, with insight into Mussolini as a human being shaped by the particular patterns of Italian society which were so vastly different from Axis partners Germany and Japan.

Mussolini was a brutal tyrant who added untold numbers to the dead of war torn Europe, but we cannot understand his regime by equating it with Hitler or Stalin. His life began modestly in the provinces and he maintained a traditional family life for a man of his time, including both a wife and mistresses. He sought in his way to be an intellectual but was capable of cruelty and was a racist with the consistency and vigor which would have made him a good recruit for the SS. He sought an empire but, for the most part, was more of an old-fashioned nineteenth century despot, not a racial or ideological imperium.

His end came in 1945 in the closing days of World War II. Disguised in German greatcoat and helmet, Mussolini attempted to escape from the advancing Allied armies but was stopped by partisans who recognized his features, made so familiar by Fascist propaganda, and within 24 hours he was publicly executed.

"Exhaustive study of Benito Mussolini...leaves no stone unturned in trying to explain the complexities of Il Duce and his times . . . Reveals the author's appreciation of the complex ingredients of Il Duce's legacy, a legacy that still influences Italian politics . . . Although his 22-year dictatorial reign brought misery to millions, Mussolini never bought into the racist fanaticism of his Nazi brethren. As Bosworth infers, Mussolini's inherent zest for life kept him from becoming the grim exterminator Hitler wanted him to be . . . The definitive study of the Italian dictator and belongs in every public and academic library with a strong European history collection."—Library Journal  
"Impressively researched, splendidly written, sound in judgement, rich in insight and humane in spirit—in every respect a superb study of Mussolini and his Fascist regime."—Ian Kershaw, Historian and author

"Challenges most of the recent interpretations of the Italian leader . . . [He] demolishes the image of the Duce strutting across the European stage in charge of his own destiny. Charisma, a lust for power, and boundless ambition carried Mussolini far from his origins in Dovia and Predappio but left him in the end a physical wreck at the mercy of forces he could not control and men with wills that were much stronger than his own. Italy, as they say, was collateral damage"—Alexander De Grand, North Carolina State University

"Bosworth is an authority on 20th-century Italy, and his exhaustive study of Benito Mussolini, first published in London, leaves no stone unturned in trying to explain the complexities of Il Duce and his times. Bosworth includes copious footnotes and an impressive bibliography to authenticate his compelling interpretation of Italy's fascist dictator. This portrait of Mussolini reveals the author's appreciation of the complex ingredients of Il Duce's legacy, a legacy that still influences Italian politics. Mussolini was a 'man of image' whose virile charisma unified a fractious nation, but the ideological underpinnings of fascism never sank very deeply into Italian society. Although his 22-year dictatorial reign brought misery to millions, Mussolini never bought into the racist fanaticism of his Nazi brethren. As Bosworth infers, Mussolini's inherent zest for life kept him from becoming the grim exterminator Hitler wanted him to be. Bosworth's biography easily supersedes Denis Mack Smith's 1982 Mussolini as the definitive study of the Italian dictator and belongs in every public and academic library with a strong European history collection."—Library Journal

"Recently there has been a disturbing resurgence of interest in Mussolini and his political movement within Italy. Some of this can be attributed to the benign curiosity of a younger generation lacking any personal memory of the fascist era. However, revisionist TV documentaries and 'scholarly' surveys of the period that combine nostalgia with willful glossing over of the outrages conducted by Il Duce are quite distressing. Bosworth, a professor of history at the University of Western Australia, has written extensively about Italian fascism, and fortunately this is not a revisionist tome. While Bosworth does not demonize Mussolini, he views him as an extreme example of an ego-driven personality incapable of divorcing his own self-gratifying impulses from the best interests of his people. However, the author also convincingly asserts that, as a political force, Mussolini was not an aberration; he and his movement grew out of and were linked to a supposedly 'respectable' ultranational and intolerant strain in the Italian body politic, and that strain is still flourishing. A well-balanced examination."—Booklist

Synopsis:

- The first major English-language biography for 20 years
- Reveals the true nature of Mussolini power

Synopsis:

"Exhaustive study of Benito Mussolini...leaves no stone unturned in trying to explain the complexities of Il Duce and his times...Reveals the author's appreciation of the complex ingredients of Il Duce's legacy, a legacy that still influences Italian politics...Although his 22-year dictatorial reign brought misery to millions, Mussolini never bought into the racist fanaticism of his Nazi brethren. As Bosworth infers, Mussolini's inherent zest for life kept him from becoming the grim exterminator Hitler wanted him to be...The definitive study of the Italian dictator and belongs in every public and academic library with a strong European history collection."—Library Journal  

Synopsis:

Bosworth's Mussolini allows us to come closer than ever before to an understanding of the life and actions of the dictator and of the political world and society within which he operated. This biography paints a picture of brutality and failure in governance with insight into Mussolini as a human being shaped by the particular patterns of Italian society which were so vastly different from Axis partners Germany and Japan.

Mussolini was a brutal tyrant who added untold numbers to the dead of war torn Europe but we cannot understand his regime by equating it with Hitler or Stalin. His life began modestly in the provinces and he maintained a traditional family life for a man of his time including both a wife and mistresses. He sought in his way to be an intellectual but was capable of cruelty and was a racist with the consistency and vigor which would have made him a good recruit for the SS. He sought an empire but, for the most part, was more of an old-fashioned nineteenth century despot not a racial or ideological imperium.

His end came in 1945 in the closing days of World War II. Disguised in German greatcoat and helmet, Mussolini attempted to escape from the advancing Allied armies but was stopped by partisans who recognized his features, made so familiar by Fascist propaganda which eventually gave him away, and within 24 hours he was publicly executed.

Synopsis:

In 1945, disguised in German greatcoat and helmet, Mussolini attempted to escape from the advancing Allied armies. Unfortunately for him, the convoy of which he was part was stopped by partisans and his features, made so familiar by Fascist propaganda, gave him away. Within 24 hours he was executed by his captors, joining those he sent early to their graves as an outcome of his tyranny, at least one million people.

He was one of the tyrant-killers who so scarred interwar Europe, but we cannot properly understand him or his regime by any simple equation with Hitler or Stalin. Like them, his life began modestly in the provinces; unlike them, he maintained a traditonal male family life, including both wife and mistresses, and sought in his way to be an intellectual. He was cruel (though not the cruellist); his racism existed, but never without the consistency and vigor that would have made him a good recruit for the SS. He sought an empire; but, in the most part, his was of the old-fashioned, costly, nineteenth century variety, not a racial or ideological imperium. And, self-evidently Italian society was not German or Russian: the particular patterns of that society shaped his dictatorship.

Bosworth's Mussolini allows us to come closer than ever before to an appreciation of the life and actions of the man and of the political world and society within which he operated. With extraordinary skill and vividness, drawing on a huge range of sources, this biography paints a picture of brutality and failure, yet one tempered with an understanding of Mussolini as a human being, not so different from many of his contemporaries.

About the Author

Richard Bosworth is one of the world's leading authorities on modern Italian history. He has been a Visiting Fellow at a number of institutions, including the Italian Academy at Columbia University, Clare Hall (Cambridge), Balliol (Oxford), and the Humanities Research Centre (Canberra). He is currently Professor of History at the University of Western Australia and the author of The Italian Dictatorship:Problems and Perspectives in the Interpretation of Mussolini and Fascism (Arnold/Oxford, 1998).

Product Details

ISBN:
9780340809884
Author:
Bosworth, R J B
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Author:
Bosworth, R. J. B.
Author:
null, R.J.B.
Subject:
Italy
Subject:
Political
Subject:
History
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
Europe - Italy
Subject:
Heads of state
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
History, World | European | Italy
Subject:
Mussolini, Benito
Subject:
Heads of state - Italy
Copyright:
Edition Number:
5
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Series:
A Hodder Arnold Publication
Publication Date:
20021031
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4 maps and 27 halftones
Pages:
608
Dimensions:
8.00 x 5.00 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Italy » Fascism and WWII
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » Italy

Mussolini Used Trade Paper
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$5.95 In Stock
Product details 608 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780340809884 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , - The first major English-language biography for 20 years
- Reveals the true nature of Mussolini power
"Synopsis" by ,
"Exhaustive study of Benito Mussolini...leaves no stone unturned in trying to explain the complexities of Il Duce and his times...Reveals the author's appreciation of the complex ingredients of Il Duce's legacy, a legacy that still influences Italian politics...Although his 22-year dictatorial reign brought misery to millions, Mussolini never bought into the racist fanaticism of his Nazi brethren. As Bosworth infers, Mussolini's inherent zest for life kept him from becoming the grim exterminator Hitler wanted him to be...The definitive study of the Italian dictator and belongs in every public and academic library with a strong European history collection."—Library Journal  
"Synopsis" by ,

Bosworth's Mussolini allows us to come closer than ever before to an understanding of the life and actions of the dictator and of the political world and society within which he operated. This biography paints a picture of brutality and failure in governance with insight into Mussolini as a human being shaped by the particular patterns of Italian society which were so vastly different from Axis partners Germany and Japan.

Mussolini was a brutal tyrant who added untold numbers to the dead of war torn Europe but we cannot understand his regime by equating it with Hitler or Stalin. His life began modestly in the provinces and he maintained a traditional family life for a man of his time including both a wife and mistresses. He sought in his way to be an intellectual but was capable of cruelty and was a racist with the consistency and vigor which would have made him a good recruit for the SS. He sought an empire but, for the most part, was more of an old-fashioned nineteenth century despot not a racial or ideological imperium.

His end came in 1945 in the closing days of World War II. Disguised in German greatcoat and helmet, Mussolini attempted to escape from the advancing Allied armies but was stopped by partisans who recognized his features, made so familiar by Fascist propaganda which eventually gave him away, and within 24 hours he was publicly executed.

"Synopsis" by , In 1945, disguised in German greatcoat and helmet, Mussolini attempted to escape from the advancing Allied armies. Unfortunately for him, the convoy of which he was part was stopped by partisans and his features, made so familiar by Fascist propaganda, gave him away. Within 24 hours he was executed by his captors, joining those he sent early to their graves as an outcome of his tyranny, at least one million people.

He was one of the tyrant-killers who so scarred interwar Europe, but we cannot properly understand him or his regime by any simple equation with Hitler or Stalin. Like them, his life began modestly in the provinces; unlike them, he maintained a traditonal male family life, including both wife and mistresses, and sought in his way to be an intellectual. He was cruel (though not the cruellist); his racism existed, but never without the consistency and vigor that would have made him a good recruit for the SS. He sought an empire; but, in the most part, his was of the old-fashioned, costly, nineteenth century variety, not a racial or ideological imperium. And, self-evidently Italian society was not German or Russian: the particular patterns of that society shaped his dictatorship.

Bosworth's Mussolini allows us to come closer than ever before to an appreciation of the life and actions of the man and of the political world and society within which he operated. With extraordinary skill and vividness, drawing on a huge range of sources, this biography paints a picture of brutality and failure, yet one tempered with an understanding of Mussolini as a human being, not so different from many of his contemporaries.

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