the history of fascism and mussolini's italy   

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  Gerardo Dottori, Il Duce. Click to go to source article   casahistoria - web site for students of modern history!

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Browse down the page or just click one of these sections.... 
1. What is Fascism?
General Definitions | Italian Fascism |
2. Biographies of Mussolini
3. Rise to Power
4. Fascist Italy
Rise to Power | Life in Italy |
Control & Propaganda | The Church | Economics | Resistance | Racial Policies


casahistoria is recommended by many sites including:




1. What is Fascism?
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Valuable sites in English on Mussolini are limited, this site indicates the more useful. 

Ideologies of left & right: Comparison of the ideologies of left and right that were fundamental to the growth of the ideas of fascism

General Definitions 
  • Fascism A clear and concise account of the origins and development of Fascism by Dr C Jazwinski.
  • The original site is now dead. This is a copy.
  • What is Fascism Some General Ideological Features by Matthew N. Lyons, an independent scholar and freelance writer who studies reactionary and supremacist movements.
  • Fascism in Europe: Documents and articles Excellent selection from the Mosaic Perspectives on western civilisation site §
  • 14 Features of Fascism as defined by Umberto Eco set out very clearly in a table form with edited examples of modern examples of fascism.    §
  • 'The Anatomy of Fascism' By Zeev Sternhell, Reply by Adrian Lyttelton from New York Review of Books
  • Fascism: A Reader's Guide Edited by Walter Laqueur. This is the extract by Zeev Sternhell, Colorado College from Laqueur. Academic survey of the movement.  §
  • The nature of fascism Roger Griffin attempts to define "generic fascism - the term he uses for those characteristics which are found in all fascist movements and ideologies, from Mussolini's Fascist Party to contemporary neo-fascist organizations. This is the Google book version. Some pages are left out but enough are here to make it valuable for ideas/research.
  • The functions of fascism. (Download link is at the bottom of the page). Podcast lecture by Michel Parenti who argues that fascism is a new order and consciousness that served the same old power structure and promised to solve the ills of the many while protecting the interests of the few. He answers in detail who financed the Fascist parties and what services the fascists rendered in return. Podcast by a-Infos Radio project
  • Economic Fascism Looks at the broader global appeal of fascism in the inter war period - especially to industrialists. By Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Professor of Economics at Loyola College
  • Race and Visualism Interesting look at impact of fascism (and other influences) on how society has visualised itself. By William Washabaugh   §
  • The Political Compass Provides a 3D (or even 4D?) take on the usual left-right interpretations of political ideology. Interesting.
Historic interpretations Italian Fascism Futurism
  • Futurism  Click on this site to see the Italian revolutionary Art that influenced young Mussolini. Clearly presented. A good place to start. Do not select the full screen option...... A committed, but interesting arts site on the movement. From the introduction to the site: Futurism was an international art movement founded in Italy in 1909. It was (and is) a refreshing contrast to the weepy sentimentalism of Romanticism. The Futurists loved speed, noise, machines, pollution, and cities; they embraced the exciting new world that was then upon them rather than hypocritically enjoying the modern world’s comforts while loudly denouncing the forces that made them possible. Fearing and attacking technology has become almost second nature to many people today; the Futurist manifestos show us an alternative philosophy.  Too bad they were all Fascists....
  • Modernism Web site of the V&A exhibition in London (May-July '06) the V&A. Very useful site bringing together a mass of exhibits, drawings and photos it looks at the development of the movement in the interwar period. The focus is rightly on developments in central & eastern Europe and index can be centred on countries individually.


2. Biographies of Mussolini

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Biographies (and the many YouTube clips) of Mussolini on the web are, if anything, even more subjective than those on Lenin, Stalin, Castro and Che. The following are amongst the most useful. Use others with care to note any bias.  Mussolini, family man....  
  • Power-mad Mussolini sacrificed wife and son 2007 Article from The Guardian by John Hooper about how Mussolini treated his first wife Ida Dalser, and their son Benito Albino
  • Lady of the Axis 1939 Time article about the ambitious influence of Mussolini's eldest daughter, Edda, wife of Count Ciano   
  • Margherita Sarfatti - The Jewish mother of Fascism Detailed article about Mussolini's first mistress. Sarfatti wrote art criticism when Benito Mussolini was appointed editor of the socialist journal Avanti in 1912. This is the story of their relationship told following an interview with her granddaughter. By Saviona Mane.
  • Clara Petacci Basic details on Mussolini's mistress from NNDB
  • Sex Diaries Reveal Mussolini's Soft Side Mussolini's mistress, Clara Petacci, recorded intimate details of her affair with Il Duce in her journal. Her diary reveals Mussolini as a sex-addicted anti-Semite who found Hitler "very likeable"- and who occasionally suffered from impotence. By Alexander Smoltczyk, Spiegel Online
  • Ida Dalser - tragic wife of Mussolini Article on the first wife of Mussolini who he then disowned and hounded along with their son.
  • Mussolini 'had affair with Italy's last queen' 2011 Guardian article describes a newly found letter from his son emerges claiming dictator slept with Marie-José, wife of heir to the Italian throne


3. Rise to power 

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4. Italy - The Fascist State

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Life in Italy Women and the family

Women in Fascist Italy See the separate casahistoria section in the Women in Totalitarian States site. Sections include:
Control & Propaganda    The Church   Economics
  • Economic Fascism Examines the economic policy component of fascism, known in Europe during the 1920s and '30s as "corporatism," that was an essential ingredient of economic totalitarianism as practiced by Mussolini and Hitler by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Professor of Economics at Loyola College
  • The Economic System of Corporatism Straightforward introductory account of corporatism as an economic interwar movement from San Jose Univ.
  • Mussolini's Corporatism Basically a 2008 political attack by L. Wolfe on New York Mayor, Bloomberg, this nonetheless has much of value on the background and nature of Mussolini’s corporatism for a careful user.
  • The Vampire Economy: Italy, Germany, and the US Essay looking at the economics of fascism and how they compared with policies in nazi Germany and the US. Use sparingly, the later US section is very opinionated. By Jeffrey M. Herbener
  • Anarchist resistance to fascism. a selection of useful items from Anarchist websites:
Racial policies 
  • Racial Theories in Fascist Italy By Aaron Gillette (2002). Google Book extracts. This is the first book to examine in detail the debates over racial theory in fascist Italy between the academic and scientific communities, and among the fascist leadership itself. Gillette analyzes the shifting official policies on race that resulted from the influence of Nazi Germany, prominent fascists and scientists and Mussolini himself on racist theory.
  • The Italian Holocaust: The Story of an Assimilated Jewish Community Detailed article looks at the historic background to fascist anti-semitism as well as outcomes. By Peter Egill Brownfeld, 2003, The American Council For Judaism.
  • The racial question From the Fry Collection of the University of Wisconsin-Madison archive.


6. Comparisons with other totalitarian states  

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See the casahistoria comparison table of totalitarian states.


7. The end of Mussolini

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