Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini’s Italy by Christopher Duggan - review by John Pollard

John Pollard

The People Have Spoken

Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini’s Italy


The Bodley Head 501pp £25

While on holiday three years ago in Taormina, Sicily, I found in a souvenir shop swimming trunks in the Italian colours with a picture of Mussolini in full military fig. The bathers bore the caption ‘Benito Mussolini, grande statista Italiano, 1883–1945’ (‘Benito Mussolini, great Italian statesman, 1883–1945’). The recent revival of the Duce’s reputation makes Christopher Duggan’s Fascist Voices a timely read. 

Through a careful selection of written sources preserved in various archives, Duggan gives voice to both observers of the Fascist experience in Italy and many participants in it. He carefully selects a representative sample – the barely literate Sicilian peasant soldier fighting in the First World War; the young blades

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