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Although he could be both ruthless and opportunistic, Benito Mussolini was also driven by ideology and his desire to make Italy great. But conservative forces in the Italian establishment and factional warfare in his own fascist party were stumbling blocks to his policy, and ultimately Italy never became as fascist as Mussolini would have liked.
Clear and engaging, this survey is key to the understanding of one of the most fascinating twentieth century European dictators.
|List of plates|
|1||The shaping of a political leader, 1883-1919||16|
|2||The achievement of power, 1919-24||41|
|3||Crisis and consolidation, 1924-29||61|
|4||The dictator at his zenith||89|
|5||Italian society under Mussolini, 1931-39||106|
|6||The Ethiopian War, 1935-36||121|
|7||Into the abyss: foreign and defence policy, 1936-40||136|
|8||The slide to disaster, 1940-43||162|
|9||The last phase, 1943-45||182|