elegance of history blog: History geek, avid reader and art lover. Here you will find random bits of history, book reviews and musings on art, literature, manners, life, music and anything else that interests me.
“We are a people of heroes”, said an once popular fascist song. The most prominent members of the fascist regime certainly liked to think of themselves as heroes, and they had the medals to prove it. Or not? Well, they definitely had the medals, but they usually weren’t honestly earned. Still, for some people, appearances
“I want to know how many they are and how much money they siphoned out of me!,” said Mussolini to De Cesare, his secretary. He was talking about his relatives. Tired of their continuous requests for money, offices, and privileges, Mussolini ordered, towards the end of 1942, an inquest on all those relatives who had
Renzo De Felice is an Italian historian who spent most of his life researching fascism and writing a biography, published in several volumes, on Mussolini. De Felice approached his work like any good historian should: he consulted primary sources (he even managed to get access to documents that had never been seen by anyone else
Renzo De Felice firmly believed that historians should “reconstruct” and write history as it really happened, based on the documents and testimonials left by the people who made it, and not how they may wish it had happened. Because of this, his work on fascism and Mussolini has been highly and unjustly criticized in Italy.
I’m not sure if this book, Riservato Per Il Duce (Confidential For The Dux) by Arrigo Petacco, was ever translated into other languages, but if it was, and you can get hold of a copy, I highly recommend you do so. Riservato Per Il Duce is a compilation of papers, notes, letters both personal and