A Bold and Dangerous Family: The Remarkable Story of an Italian Mother, Her Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Fascism

A Bold and Dangerous Family: The Remarkable Story of an Italian Mother, Her Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Fascism

by Caroline Moorehead


$16.99 $17.99 Save 6% Current price is $16.99, Original price is $17.99. You Save 6%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


Shortlisted for the Costa Award

Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize

The acclaimed author of A Train in Winter and Village of Secrets delivers the next chapter in "The Resistance Quartet": the astonishing story of the aristocratic Italian family who stood up to Mussolini's fascism, and whose efforts helped define the path of Italy in the years between the World Wars—a profile in courage that remains relevant today.

Members of the cosmopolitan, cultural aristocracy of Florence at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Rosselli family, led by their fierce matriarch, Amelia, were vocal anti-fascists. As populist, right-wing nationalism swept across Europe after World War I, and Italy’s Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini, began consolidating his power, Amelia’s sons Carlo and Nello led the opposition, taking a public stand against Il Duce that few others in their elite class dared risk. When Mussolini established a terrifying and brutal police state controlled by his Blackshirts—the squaddristi—the Rossellis and their anti-fascist circle were transformed into active resisters.

In retaliation, many of the anti-fascists were arrested and imprisoned; others left the country to escape a similar fate. Tragically, Carlo and Nello were eventually assassinated by Mussolini’s secret service. After Italy entered World War II in June 1940, Amelia, thanks to visas arranged by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt herself, fled to New York City with the remaining members of her family.

Renowned historian Caroline Moorehead paints an indelible picture of Italy in the first half of the twentieth century, offering an intimate account of the rise of Il Duce and his squaddristi; life in Mussolini’s penal colonies; the shocking ambivalence and complicity of many prominent Italian families seduced by Mussolini’s promises; and the bold, fractured resistance movement whose associates sacrificed their lives to fight fascism. In A Bold and Dangerous Family, Moorehead once again pays tribute to heroes who fought to uphold our humanity during one of history’s darkest chapters.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062308313
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Series: Resistance Quartet Series , #3
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 340,837
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Caroline Moorehead is the New York Times bestselling author of A Bold and Dangerous Family, Village of Secrets, and A Train in Winter, which, with A House in the Mountains, form the Resistance Quartet. Human Cargo, her book about the international refugee crisis, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. An acclaimed biographer, Moorehead has also written for the New York Review of Books, the Guardian, the Times, and the Independent. She lives in London and Italy.

Table of Contents

Principal Characters ix

Chronology xi

Preface xiii

Chapter 1 A Watery Childhood 1

Chapter 2 Donne Emancipate 19

Chapter 3 Defining la Patria 32

Chapter 4 Becoming a Man 51

Chapter 5 The Dark Seraphim 66

Chapter 6 Planting a Tree 89

Chapter 7 Moral Choices 109

Chapter 8 'Non Mollare' 127

Chapter 9 Breaking Free 152

Chapter 10 Defying the Barbarians 170

Chapter 11 Il Confino 188

Chapter 12 The Island of Winds 202

Chapter 13 Not Even the Flies Escape 221

Chapter 14 To Be an Exile 236

Chapter 15 Just One Heart 259

Chapter 16 Dancing for Liberty 278

Chapter 17 A World of Moral Richness 297

Chapter 18 A Free Man Again 328

Chapter 19 A Corneillian Tragedy 351

Postscript 373

Acknowledgements 375

List of Illustrations 377

Sources and Select Bibliography 379

Notes 389

Index 405

Customer Reviews