Author: Guglielmo Salotti
Publisher: Ugo Mursia Editore
Beginning with an analysis of the complex relationship between fascism and the post-war extreme right, the book discusses both contemporary parties and the cultural and intellectual influences of the European New Right as well as patterns of socialization and mobilization. It then analyses the effects of a range of factors on the ideological development of right-wing extremism including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, religious extremism and the approach towards Europe (and the European Union).The final sections investigate a number of activist manifestations of the extreme right from youth participation and the white power music scene to transnational rallies, the Internet and football hooliganism. In the process, the book questions the notion that the contemporary extreme right is either completely novel or fully populist in character. Drawing together a wide range of contributors, this is essential reading for all those with an interest in contemporary extremism and fascism. The book is a companion volume to Mapping the Extreme Right (Routledge, 2012) which has the same editors.
Passionate, political and principled, the UltraS are the hardcore subculture of football supporters found in the stadiums of Italy. Amongst the most committed and uncompromising are two such groups who gather in support of the main football clubs of Rome - AS Roma and SS Lazio. Openly proclaiming neo-fascist sympathies, and not afraid of violence against rival supporters and police, these groups (the Boys Roma and the Lazio Irriducibili) are well-organised and determined to bring about social and political change and stamp out those who oppose them. The much-maligned football hooligans of England pale by comparison. Following years of research involving individuals inside these organisations, and drawing on exclusive interviews with each group's leading figures, Alberto Testa and Gary Armstrong present a fascinating account of the world of the neo-fascist UltraS.
The Red Brigades were a far-left terrorist group in Italy formed in 1970 and active all through the 1980s. Infamous around the world for a campaign of assassinations, kidnappings, and bank robberies intended as a "concentrated strike against the heart of the State," the Red Brigades' most notorious crime was the kidnapping and murder of Italy's former prime minister Aldo Moro in 1978. In the late 1990s, a new group of violent anticapitalist terrorists revived the name Red Brigades and killed a number of professors and government officials. Like their German counterparts in the Baader-Meinhof Group and today's violent political and religious extremists, the Red Brigades and their actions raise a host of questions about the motivations, ideologies, and mind-sets of people who commit horrific acts of violence in the name of a utopia. In the first English edition of a book that has won critical acclaim and major prizes in Italy, Alessandro Orsini contends that the dominant logic of the Red Brigades was essentially eschatological, focused on purifying a corrupt world through violence. Only through revolutionary terror, Brigadists believed, could humanity be saved from the putrefying effects of capitalism and imperialism. Through a careful study of all existing documentation produced by the Red Brigades and of all existing scholarship on the Red Brigades, Orsini reconstructs a worldview that can be as seductive as it is horrifying. Orsini has devised a micro-sociological theory that allows him to reconstruct the group dynamics leading to political homicide in extreme-left and neonazi terrorist groups. This "subversive-revolutionary feedback theory" states that the willingness to mete out and suffer death depends, in the last analysis, on how far the terrorist has been incorporated into the revolutionary sect. Orsini makes clear that this political-religious concept of historical development is central to understanding all such self-styled "purifiers of the world." From Thomas Müntzer's theocratic dream to Pol Pot's Cambodian revolution, all the violent "purifiers" of the world have a clear goal: to build a perfect society in which there will no longer be any sin and unhappiness and in which no opposition can be allowed to upset the universal harmony. Orsini's book reconstructs the origins and evolution of a revolutionary tradition brought into our own times by the Red Brigades.
Author: Richard J. B. Bosworth
Publisher: A&C Black
In 1945, disguised in German greatcoat and helmet, Mussolini attempted to escape from the advancing Allied armies. Unfortunately for him, the convoy of which he was part was stopped by partisans and his features, made so familiar by Fascist propaganda, gave him away. Within 24 hours he was executed by his captors, joining those he sent early to their graves as an outcome of his tyranny, at least one million people. He was one of the tyrant-killers who so scarred interwar Europe, but we cannot properly understand him or his regime by any simple equation with Hitler or Stalin. Like them, his life began modestly in the provinces; unlike them, he maintained a traditonal male family life, including both wife and mistresses, and sought in his way to be an intellectual. He was cruel (though not the cruellist); his racism existed, but never without the consistency and vigor that would have made him a good recruit for the SS. He sought an empire; but, in the most part, his was of the old-fashioned, costly, nineteenth century variety, not a racial or ideological imperium. And, self-evidently Italian society was not German or Russian: the particular patterns of that society shaped his dictatorship. Bosworth's Mussolini allows us to come closer than ever before to an appreciation of the life and actions of the man and of the political world and society within which he operated. With extraordinary skill and vividness, drawing on a huge range of sources, this biography paints a picture of brutality and failure, yet one tempered with an understanding of Mussolini as a human being, not so different from many of his contemporaries.
This collection of essays provides a comprehensive account of the culture of modern Italy. Contributions focus on a wide range of political, historical and cultural questions. The volume provides information and analysis on such topics as regionalism, the growth of a national language, social and political cultures, the role of intellectuals, the Church, the left, feminism, the separatist movements, organised crime, literature, art, design, fashion, the mass media, and music. While offering a thorough history of Italian cultural movements, political trends and literary texts over the last century and a half, the volume also examines the cultural and political situation in Italy today and suggests possible future directions in which the country might move. Each essay contains suggestions for further reading on the topics covered. The Cambridge Companion to Modern Italian Culture is an invaluable source of materials for courses on all aspects of modern Italy.
A Tragedy Revealed
Author: Arrigo Petacco
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Based on previously unavailable archival documents and oral accounts from people who were there, Petacco reveals the events and exposes the Italian government's mishandling and then official silence on the situation."
Author: Sergio Luzzatto
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
The first historical appraisal of the astonishing life and times of a controversial twentieth-century saint Padre Pio is one of the world's most beloved holy figures, more popular in Italy than the Virgin Mary and even Jesus. His tomb is the most visited Catholic shrine anywhere, drawing more devotees than Lourdes. His miraculous feats included the ability to fly and to be present in two places at once; an apparition of Padre Pio in midair prevented Allied warplanes from dropping bombs on his hometown. Most notable of all were his stigmata, which provoke heated controversy to this day. Were they truly God-given? A psychosomatic response to extreme devotion? Or, perhaps, the self-inflicted wounds of a charlatan? Now acclaimed historian Sergio Luzzatto offers a pioneering investigation of this remarkable man and his followers. Neither a worshipful hagiography nor a sensationalist exposé, Padre Pio is a nuanced examination of the persistence of mysticism in contemporary society and a striking analysis of the links between Catholicism and twentieth-century politics. Granted unprecedented access to the Vatican archives, Luzzatto has also unearthed a letter from Padre Pio himself in which the monk asks for a secret delivery of carbolic acid—a discovery which helps explain why two successive popes regarded Padre Pio as a fraud, until pressure from Pio-worshipping pilgrims forced the Vatican to change its views. A profoundly original tale of wounds and wonder, salvation and swindle, Padre Pio explores what it really means to be a saint in our time.