There is probably no more frequently asked question about twentieth-century Italian history than ‘Why did Benito Mussolini come to power in 1922?’. Donald Sassoon, the distinguished historian of the Italian Communist Party and of European socialism, and the author of a recent, monumental survey of the development of Europe’s cultural markets in the last two centuries, has provided a nuanced, balanced and in many respects comprehensive answer in an elegant extended essay that will come as a godsend to A-level students and undergraduates up and down the country. It is a work that draws very heavily on the Italian and Anglo-Saxon scholarship of the last forty years; but Sassoon’s command of the field of international history also enables him to place Mussolini and Italian fascism in often refreshing and unfamiliar comparative perspectives.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
'"Dutch Light" roots its subject in his local environment, explaining, for example, how an abundance of sand for making glass led naturally to a thriving business in optical instruments in Holland.'
Patricia Fara on the life & work of Christiaan Huygens.
Sign up to our e-newsletter!
Get highlights from the new issue and selected archive articles, as well as exclusive competitions and subscription offers delivered straight to your inbox.
'We may not be able to shield ourselves from irrational passions such as hatred, anger, envy, mockery and pride, or from the buffetings of circumstance, but we can rise above them by obtaining insight into their nature and their causes.'