Mussolini's Rome: Rebuilding the Eternal City

Mussolini's Rome: Rebuilding the Eternal City

3.2 178
by Borden W. Painter
     
 

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"Rome was Mussolini's obsession. He staged the symbolic March on Rome in 1922, and promised Italians that his Fascist revolution would unite the country and transform Italy into a major world power. Over the next two decades, he set about rebuilding Rome as the foremost site and symbol of the new Fascist order. Through an ambitious program of demolition and…  See more details below

Overview

"Rome was Mussolini's obsession. He staged the symbolic March on Rome in 1922, and promised Italians that his Fascist revolution would unite the country and transform Italy into a major world power. Over the next two decades, he set about rebuilding Rome as the foremost site and symbol of the new Fascist order. Through an ambitious program of demolition and construction, he sought to make Rome a capital that embraced modernity while preserving and glorifying the city's ancient past. Building the new Rome put people to work; "liberated" ancient monuments from cluttered surroundings; cleared slums; created giant complexes for education, sports, and cinema; produced wide new boulevards and piazzas; and provided the Fascist regime with a platform on which to showcase the power and identity of Fascism. In no other Italian city is the Fascist ideal as clearly visible." In Mussolini's Rome, Borden W. Painter, Jr. unveils Mussolini's tremendous and lasting impact on the city to which millions flock each year, and delivers an invaluable perspective on the history and nature of Italian Fascism. With vivid, effortless prose, Painter reveals how, for better or worse, the Rome we know today is not only the city of Roman emperors, Catholic popes, and Italian kings - it is also Mussolini's Rome.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

' the best single discussion of the topic available in English.' Stephen L. Dyson, European History Quarterly

'Painter's able study displays what hides in plain sight in the Eternal City.' - Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

'From 1925 to 1940 Italian fascism changed in fundamental ways the urban geography of Rome. Borden Painter's extremely interesting and useful book traces Mussolini's passion for tearing down and rebuilding Rome, but, more than that, Painter uses the Fascist architectural project as a way of analyzing the values and aspiration of the regime. Along the way he studies the architects and planners of the regime who tore down large parts of Medieval Rome to highlight ancient imperial Rome, but who also constructed the sport centers, the buildings for government offices, and the new university city. It is an original and insightful view of Mussolini and his regime.' - Alexander De Grand, North Carolina State University, USA

'In showing how fascist projects changed the look and even the very fabric of Rome, Borden Painter's fascinating study significantly enhances our understanding of Mussolini's regime. Attentive to the unique challenges and opportunities the Roman setting provided, Painter skillfully traces the effort to blend traditional and modern, old and new, within the framework of confident self-assertion that characterized the fascist experiment. His account is based on exhaustive research and an impressive mastery of the growing scholarly literature on fascist culture, yet it is lively and accessible and it will appeal to specialists and general readers alike.' - David D. Roberts, University of Georgia, USA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780230204188
Publisher:
MPS
Publication date:
07/15/2005
Series:
Italian & Italian American Studies Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
41,142
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Borden W. Painter Jr. is Professor of History Emeritus, Trinity College.

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Mussolini's Rome 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 176 reviews.
Voracious_Bookworm More than 1 year ago
I will confess, I knew very little about Rome during Mussolini's reign. Therefore, when I started to read this book, I could quickly become lost at times. This is a book to read in addition to basic knowledge, rather than a book FOR basic knowledge. However, that is not to say this is not a good book. It is. It is well written, very informative, with great footnotes for further information, as well as pictures that aid rather than detract. If you don't have basic knowledge, it is still very rewarding but will be a bit harder of a read through than if you have that knowledge. If you are interested in Rome as a city, Italian history before and during WWII, or politics and their influence on architecture-this is a must read.
DrewGeoff More than 1 year ago
I never really thought about how a political system can actually shape a city until I read this book. This is a fascinating read for anyone who's interested in either history or architecture, and I would even recommend it for anyone just looking for a thought-provoking read.
pviverito More than 1 year ago
As an American of Italian ancestry I found this book enthralling. In matter of architecture I found it enlightening. When we travel to Rome we will use this book as a guide. The background to Rome's history between the wars was well developed and well documented. Mussolini would have arguably been hailed as important if he as had Franco stayed out of the Second World War. However in a desired to not be out match by Hitler he failed to preserve his legacy as a builder. Instead he will go down in history as megalomaniac. However, much of modern Rome still bears his marks. In regard to the Papacy he is fairly balanced with a few minor errors. Pius XII was not given much credit for protecting the Jewish population of Italy. A mere mention of Scrivener's work is important and should be followed up. The Pope has taken some untrue hits about his ignoring the Jewish peoples' problems. He opened the churches and monastic house to them in order that they might be saved. At least this truth is foot noted. None-the-less this is an important subject and an important work that should be read and if you go to Rome you will be lost without it.
Ryan Maser More than 1 year ago
A great insite on how he changed Italy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read...Highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought a Nook and, within a few hours, was on a plane for Rome. I didn't know how it all worked, and had few books loaded on my new Nook - this was one of them. I have what some call a "learning personality," which seems to me to mean that I'm happy when I learn something new. So, Mr. Painter's book kept my interest through the concept of cityscapes/archicture/urban renewal as political tools. Surely future historians will be interested in changes to Rome wrought by Mussolini. For the general reader unfamiliar with Rome then and now, the level of detail about the fascist urban renewal project is overwhelming.
ConanDoyle More than 1 year ago
Informative, but the pictures don't display well in an ereader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The history is good but the book is boring
DonK More than 1 year ago
This is a book based on detailed research. Well done, and detailed. It is not for the casual reader - but - for one who is interested in the history of Roman during Mussolini's years in power, and some insight as to why he sided with Hitler.
LeoDiaz More than 1 year ago
I though this would be a lighter reading, but becomes a technical book that may be useful if, you are in Rome or you know Rome well (and of course, you must interested in architecture!). Haven't finished, I will keep it for (and if) I visit Rome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love history Great book
RVerCAS More than 1 year ago
If you are an architect/city designer, this is a very educational book. It's too dry & date conscious for comfortable reading. A student of history would also enjoy this book.
MrsRamBo More than 1 year ago
While I did not read the entire book, I did read sections that pertained to some of the issues that my students were studying. I found it to be an interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good read for any history buff. Kind of tedious with many names and places but the pictures and footnotes help in the overall understanding of the events. Definitely recommended.
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This is a must have for students and lovers of Rome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago