Pub. Date:
University of California Press
Fascist Modernities: Italy, 1922-1945 / Edition 1

Fascist Modernities: Italy, 1922-1945 / Edition 1

by Ruth Ben-Ghiat


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Ruth Ben-Ghiat's innovative cultural history of Mussolini's dictatorship is a provocative discussion of the meanings of modernity in interwar Italy. Eloquent, pathbreaking, and deft in its use of a broad range of materials, this work argues that fascism appealed to many Italian intellectuals as a new model of modernity that would resolve the contemporary European crisis as well as long-standing problems of the national past. Ben-Ghiat shows that—at a time of fears over the erosion of national and social identities—Mussolini presented fascism as a movement that would allow economic development without harm to social boundaries and national traditions. She demonstrates that although the regime largely failed in its attempts to remake Italians as paragons of a distinctly fascist model of mass society, twenty years of fascism did alter the landscape of Italian cultural life. Among younger intellectuals in particular, the dictatorship left a legacy of practices and attitudes that often continued under different political rubrics after 1945.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520242166
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 03/01/2004
Series: Studies on the History of Society and Culture , #42
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 327
Sales rank: 1,095,134
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is Associate Professor of Italian Studies and History at New York University.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsvii
1Toward a Fascist Culture17
Politics and Patronage in Italian Fascist Culture20
Taste Wars IGenerational Politics and Fascist Aesthetics29
Taste Wars IIAnxieties of Influence33
In Search of Modernity: Italians Abroad, 1929-3437
2Narrating the Nation46
Toward a New Italian Literature48
Critics and the Construction of Literary Identity51
The Realist Novel and the Search for Moral Change55
Fascist Literature and the Fiction of the Unpolitical61
The Ethnic as National: Alvaro's Alternative64
3Envisioning Modernity70
Style and Identity: Creating the National Film74
Blasetti, Camerini, Matarazzo: Three Visions of a Different Modernity80
The Development of Fascist Film Policy, 1933-3588
4Class Dismissed: Fascism's Politics of Youth93
Toward a Fascist Modernity: Three Voices for Change99
The Discipline of Revolution107
5Conquest and Collaboration123
Fascist Modernity and Colonial Conquest125
Between Expansion and Autarchy: Italian Culture in the Axis Years131
Aryans and Others: The Fascist War against the Jews148
Politics and Identity in Fascist Youth Culture, 1936-39157
6The Wars of Fascism171
A Culture of War, 1940-43174
Generations at War180
Other Italies, Other Modernities187

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