A Tortuous Landscape

  • Robert Mallett
Part of the The Making of the 20th Century book series (MATWCE)


Since the first days of fascist rule Mussolini had repeatedly affirmed the ‘greatness and necessity of war’ and, consequently, stressed Italy’s need to conquer its place in the world.1 The fasci di combattimento, as Mussolini christened the new political movement he founded (in 1919) amid the turmoil of post-First-World-War Italy, was made up mostly of ex-combatants who disliked the new Europe of Versailles and who wanted their nation to secure great power status. First-day fascists like Emilio De Bono, Dino Grandi, Italo Balbo and indeed Mussolini himself detested the liberal and socialist society in which they found themselves, and wanted to revolutionise Italy and transform its place within the international order.2 There could be no compromise with those who opposed such a world-view, as the violence and repression that marked the fascist ventennio clearly demonstrated.


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© Robert Mallett 2003

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  • Robert Mallett

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