Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) was the founder of Fascism and iron-fisted ruler of Italy for two decades. He was also an extremely able politician who won the esteem of many statesmen―including Winston Churchill and influential persons in the United States.
This biography describes Mussolini's childhood; his education (including his suspension from school for attacking other boys with knives); his World War I experiences and severe wounding; his involvement in, and eventual expulsion from the revolutionary Italian Socialist Party; his numerous love affairs, his early career as a journalist and his rise to power and brutal rule.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Jasper Ridley was educated at the Sorbonne and Oxford University. After a successful career as a barrister he has turned to specializing in writing historical biography. He has published books on John Knox, Mary Tudor, Thomas Cranmer, Lord Palmerston (which won the most prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize), Garibaldi, Napoleon III, and Tito. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a vice president for life of the English Section of International PEN.From Kirkus Reviews:
This new biography will refine our portrait of a 20th-century dictator. It has been Mussolini's great historical fortune that he shared the stage with Hitler and Stalin. Overshadowed by the barbarism of his two contemporaries, Mussolini has reaped the benefit of appearing benign while Hitler and Stalin continue to battle for supreme title of the 20th century's worst dictator. Another historical anomaly was that Mussolini was initially praised by many Western leaders, most warmly by Winston Churchill and influential persons in the US. Ridley, a lawyer and author of more than 15 historical biographies, shares these opinions. Ridley correctly admonishes an earlier historiographical and political tradition that saw Mussolini as a mere buffoon, gesturing wildly during his many balcony speeches. No buffoon remains in power for two decades. This is a more nuanced portrait, showing Mussolini hesitant and undecided at times, willing to cooperate with other governments when it suited his designs. Of particular value is Ridley's description of Mussolini's early life and career, usually given short- shrift in other biographies of the dictator. A full third of the book is devoted to these early years, including information on his family, education, war experience, and eventual expulsion from the Italian Socialist Party for advocating intervention in the Great War. Mussolini was a complex and often contradictory man, as exemplified by his early political career as a revolutionary socialist. But Ridley is sometimes overly sympathetic with his subject: fascist violence is not depicted in its full savagery, while antifascists who attempted to assassinate the dictator are called ``terrorists'' (without the accompanying ironic quotes). Although the fascist Gabriel Garca Lorca regime cannot claim the number of victims destroyed by Stalin or Hitler, fascists were skilled in the political use of violence and terror, having the distinction of organizing the first death squads, the infamous Blackshirts or squadristi. The writing here is sometimes dry and particularly British. Still, though not without its flaws, this is a valuable introduction to Mussolini. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Constable, 1999. Book Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 0094790604-2-4
Book Description Constable. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Light shelving wear with minimal damage to cover and bindings. Pages show minor use. Bookseller Inventory # G0094790604I3N00
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR005348705