Fascist Voices review º 3

review Fascist Voices

Fascist Voices review º 3 ô Christopher Duggan's new history of fascist Italy explores how the movement became embodied in the person of Benito Mussolini who occupied for many an almost divine status and gave millions of men and women a sense of pride and hope offering the prospect of national regeneration after decades of disappointmentA work of exceptioIces makes use of rarely examined sources letters and private diaries newspaper reports and secret police files to uncover how ordinary people experienced fascism on a daily basis and how its ideology influenced their beliefs values language and lifestyleTracing fascism from its conception to its legacy Christopher Duggan unpicks why the regime enjoyed so much suppor. Had to read this for my History class at school It was long winded and I had to stop 230 pages in

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Christopher Duggan's new history of fascist Italy explores how the movement became embodied in the person of Benito Mussolini who occupied for many an almost divine status and gave millions of men and women a sense of pride and hope offering the prospect of national regeneration after decades of disappointmentA work of exceptional authority and originality Fascist Vo. This is a disconcerting useful and wonderful book Duggan's aim is to write a history of the fascist regime in Italy through the writings and testimonies of diarists and letter writers he uotes from archives all over Italy most notably the huge collection of letters ordinary Italians wrote to Mussolini which is only a fraction of the original collection most of which was destroyed by wartime bombing Duggan is a fine historian who has written an excellent history of modern Italy and the first thing to say about this book is that it is an excellent way to learn and absorb a complicated history thanks to the vividness of the personalities one meets and also through Duggan's compressed but sure handed connective tissue The story of Mussolini's rise and fall is one I've read many times but I feel this one has fixed it in my mind in a way that none other has doneI'm sure that those with a little knowledge will uibble perhaps rightly with Duggan's selection of uotations and some of his detail I myself felt fresh from a reading of naughty Ernst Nolte's very theoretical and Heiderggerian disuisition on Mussolini and Italian fascism that Duggan avoids discussion of fascist theory but as I kept reading I decided that as a whole the narrative provides and density and seriousness to Mussolini's enterprise The anti bourgeois nature of Mussolini's creation slowly emerges and in a way you can see how Fascist Italy was really a kinder gentler version of the Bolshevik revolution without Cheka mass murders and enslavement And Duggan does speak about moments in history that I almost never see discussed such as that Mussolini sent a uarter of a million Italian soldiers to the Eastern Front who fought alongside the Wehrmacht when it invaded the USSR Here's what's disconcerting Duggan can find very little evidence of any opposition to fascism except among a few professional trade unionists and difficult characters His conclusion and that of the dozens of voices he uotesis that Italy working class middle class academics journalists intellectuals was fairly satisfied with fascism thought it a success not just until but through the atrocious conuest of Ethiopia with poison gas up until Mussolini imposed the racial laws in 1938 at Hitler's urging Moreover even then after an initial feeling that Mussolini had done something really wrong Italians soon began to be irritated by the complaints of Italy's Jews about their deprivation of citizenship and began to feel that perhaps Musso had been right after allIn other words the egregiously shallow claim made by Daniel Goldhagen that all Germans bear racial guilt for the horrors of Nazism is as true about prewar Italians as it is false about Germans My greatest criticism is that Duggan doesn't make much of the the most consistent and continuous source of resistance to the regime which came from serious Catholic laymen and individual priests the middle management of the Church was on board with the regime although Duggan is right to make an exception of the Pope himself Duggan provides plenty of evidence for this the brave young priest who is beaten to death by thugs for keeping his boys in the Catholic scouting movement etc But he doesn't exempt them from general blame Perhaps I am overinfluenced by the great Italian war novel The Red Horse which follows a group of serious young Catholics through the war but this seems to me a blemish and an oversimplification on Duggan's partHere's what's disconcerting

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Fascist VoicesT among the majority of the Italian population He examines the extraordinary personal relationships that millions of Italians had with Mussolini explores the religious dimensions of totalitarianism and discusses why the 'cult of the Duce' still resonates in contemporary Italy Fascist Voices is a fresh and disturbing look at a country in thrall to a charismatic dictat. this epic history of fascist Italy explores the development and support of Italian support for fascism using individual diaries Duggan exploresthe reaosn for support and trust often in Mussolini rather than his ideologically incoherent and oppotunistic Party Buidling on the failure of Liberalism to build an ecomomically strong and modern Italy Mussolini surgeto pwoer was seen as a source of relief by many Italains disnagaed frm politics and looking for a better futureDuggan's work exxplores the failure of Fascism to deliver the modern anti materialistoc and ethical mass nationalism promised and the deepening cyncism of Italians finally destroyed by the debt and disgrace if war this books explains the lack of thorough purge of fascism the attraction of Italian intellectuals to a very Italian forn of socialism and the relentless cynicism about psrty politics that shaped modern society