Mussolini in the First World War: The Journalist, the Soldier, the Fascist

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Mar 4, 2014 - History - 224 pages
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How did Benito Mussolini come to fascism? Standard accounts of the dictator have failed to explain satisfactorily the transition from his pre-World War I 'socialism' to his post-war fascism. This controversial new book is the first to examine closely Mussolini's political trajectory during the Great War as evidenced in his journalistic writings, speeches and war diary, as well as some previously unexamined archive material. The author argues that the 1914-18 conflict provided the catalyst for Mussolini to clarify his deep-rooted nationalist tendencies. He demonstrates that Mussolini's interventionism was already anti-socialist and anti-democratic in the early autumn of 1914 and shows how in and through the experience of the conflict the future duce fine-tuned his authoritarian and totalitarian vision of Italy in a state of permanent mobilization for war. Providing a radical new interpretation of one of the most important dictators of the twentieth century, Mussolini in the First World War will appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about the roots of fascism in modern Europe.
 

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I have always been a big fan of Mussolini since I was nine. He was a pasta hater, but a ravioli lover. He always loved his wine as well. Now this is a story all about how, Now this is a story all about how, My life got flipped-turned upside down And I'd like to take a minute, Just sit right there I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air, In west Philadelphia born and raised On the playground was where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool
And all shooting some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
She said, "You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air."
I begged and pleaded with her day after day
But she packed my suitcase and sent me on my way
She gave me a kiss and then she gave me my ticket.
I put my Walkman on and said, "I might as well kick it."
First class, yo, this is bad
Drinking orange juice out of a champagne glass.
Is this what the people of Bel-Air living like?
Hmm, this might be alright.
But wait I hear they're prissy, bourgeois, all that
Is this the type of place that they just send this cool cat?
I don't think so
I'll see when I get there
I hope they're prepared for the prince of Bel-Air
Well, the plane landed and when I came out
There was a dude who looked like a cop standing there with my name out
I ain't trying to get arrested yet
I just got here
I sprang with the quickness like lightning, disappeared
I whistled for a cab and when it came near
The license plate said "Fresh" and it had dice in the mirror
If anything I could say that this cab was rare
But I thought, "Nah, forget it."
– "Yo, home to Bel-Air."
I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8
And I yelled to the cabbie, "Yo home smell ya later."
I looked at my kingdom
I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel-Air
 

Contents

Introduction
1
November 1918June 1919
11
July 1914May 1915
31
MayNovember 1915
59
November 1915June 1916
87
July 1916February 1917
107
MarchOctober 1917
123
October 1917November 1918
141
October 1917November 1918
163
Conclusion
183
Bibliography
189
Index
201
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Paul O'Brien is an Independent scholar.

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