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Mussolini's Empire: the Rise and Fall of the Fascist Vision

by Hoyt, Edwin P.

  • ISBN: 9780471591511
  • ISBN10: 0471591513

Mussolini's Empire: the Rise and Fall of the Fascist Vision

by Hoyt, Edwin P.

  • List Price: $24.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Edition: 1
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
  • Publish date: 01/01/2003
  • ISBN: 9780471591511
  • ISBN10: 0471591513
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Description: He was Il Duce, godfather of Italian fascism, a leader fired by grandiose imperial ambitions who drove his nation into an unwinnable war. Yet, as historian Edwin Hoyt reminds us, Benito Mussolini was once the most popular political figure in the world. Mahatma Gandhi called him "a superman" and "one of the great statesmen of all time". To Thomas Edison he was "the greatest genius of modern times". Heads of state, including Woodrow Wilson and Winston Churchill, flocked to Rome to pay him homage. In this fresh look at Mussolini and the rise and fall of Italian Fascism, Edwin Hoyt gives us a vivid, contrarian portrait of this darkly complex, disturbingly admirable man whose life and career embodied the welter of crosscurrents that shaped the first four decades of this century. In Hoyt's analysis, Mussolini had a first-class mind and a shrewd understanding of the European scene that led to his phenomenal rise to power. Born into the poverty of the Italian countryside, the son of a radical socialist blacksmith and a devoutly Catholic school teacher, Mussolini was a loner and a bully, an indifferent student, and an irrepressible rebel. Yet, early on, he exhibited a genius for oratory and languages, as well as keen insight into human nature. Hoyt shows how these gifts, wedded to ruthless ambition and a life-long conviction that he was born to lead the masses, were to account for Mussolini's successes, first as a brilliant young newspaper editor and charismatic leader of the Italian Socialists, and finally as the creator of the Italian Fascist Empire. Hoyt describes how Mussolini set out to be master of Italy and a major world leader and how he succeeded. Through the creation of a totalitariansystem he called "fascism", Mussolini reconstructed Italy from the poverty and destruction left by World War I forging her into a major power: He envisioned a new Roman Empire and by 1934 he had conquered Libya and Somaliland. After he took control of Ethiopia in 1936, his Mediterranean empire was complete. Hoyt also portrays Hitler in a new light, showing how he admired Mussolini and was dependent on him, even though Il Duce disliked and distrusted him and equated Nazism with "savage barbarism". For years, while France and England were too preoccupied with their own imperial ambitions to heed his warnings, Mussolini single-handedly kept Hitler in check and held back the tide of German expansionism, until, faced with the prospect of being swept away by the German tidal wave, he was forced into the alliance that would lead to his destruction. Readers of World War II military history will appreciate the detailed accounts of Italy's campaigns in Africa and the Balkan states. Hoyt describes all the major battles, up through the dark days of German occupation and the Salo puppet government, the Allied victory in Italy and finally Mussolini's summary execution at the hands of triumphant Italian partisans. Tyrant, bully, compulsive womanizer, brilliant political strategist, charismatic leader, and glorious failure, in the final reckoning, Mussolini was, like the tumultuous times in which he lived, a forceful expression of both the best and worst of the human spirit.
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8vo, cloth, d.w. N.Y. : John Wiley, (1994). vg.
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John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY, 1994. 1st Edition, 1st Printing,
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8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. 298pp. A fresh look at Mussolini and the rise and
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8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. 298pp. A fresh look at Mussolini and the rise and
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