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Italian history


  • The Pope at War: Pius XII and the Vatican's Secret Archives

    by James Thornton Harris

    David Kertzer's book argues that defenders of Pope Pius XII's actions during the Holocaust mistake his defense of the prerogatives of the Catholic Church for a defense of the victims of Nazi persecution and genocide. 


  • Mussolini in Myth and Memory

    by Paul Corner

    Italians' recollection of Mussolini and the Fascist regime embody the replacement of historical memory with national mythology—a mythology that dismisses both the violence of the dictatorship and Italians' collective responsibility for it and enables the resurgence of the far right today.



  • Lunchtime in Italy: Work, Time and Civil Society

    by Jonathan Levy

    The Italian lunchtime insists that time be organized around communal rituals and sustenance, not work. Does the utter foreignness of this attitude in America help explain the current national derangement? 



  • What Explains Fascism's Durable Roots in Italy?

    The success of a party with historical connections to fascists who survived the Second World War raises important questions about why Italians justify voting for the hard right. 



  • Mario Fiorentini (1918-2022): The Last Surviving Italian Partisan

    by David Broder

    After Nazi German occupied post-Mussolini Rome, Fiorentini escaped from prisons four times during twenty months of anti-Nazi struggle. He remained an important witness for a society prone to forgetting the horrors of far-right politics.



  • Stop Pretending Italian Fascists Were Innocent Victims

    The growing far right has sought to draw a moral equivalency between Italian Fascists and the leftist partisans, including Communists, who fought to expel fascist forces from occupied Yugoslavia at the end of World War II. Historian Eric Gobetti says that victims of reprisals were targeted for fascist allegiance, not Italian ethnicity.

  • ‘One Man, and One Man Alone’: Mussolini’s War

    by John Gooch

    Mussolini acted on the spur of the moment, always sensitive to the need to be seen as Hitler’s equal.  Rarely did anyone ever try to talk him out of a chosen course, and when they did so they failed.  You couldn’t reason with him.