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Journeys Through Fascism
Italian Travel-Writing between the Wars
284 pages, 25 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-57181-540-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2007)
ISBN 978-1-84545-716-7 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (January 2010)
eISBN 978-0-85745-368-6 eBook
“Charles Burdett's excellent study of the cultural and ideological roots and reverberations of Italian travel writing under Fascism has been published in a series intent on redrawing the boundaries of cultural history…[The] analysis fits into a broader endeavour to study Italian culture under Fascism, though its stands out for its perceptiveness and insight. His study is genuinely interdisciplinary and will appeal to both literary scholars and historians.” • European History Quarterly
“As well as being physical journeys, they were explorations and reworkings, through travel, of the writers’ own sense of Italian and Fascist identity. Indeed, one of the most interesting suggestions of this original and important book is that the identity of Fascist Italy was built out of comparisons with other places…a fascinating book on Italian travel writing of the Fascist period.” • Times Literary Supplement
“…this is a highly recommended book for those wishing to expand their knowledge of the cultural and political roles of travel writing, as well as the perceptions, ambitions, inconsistencies, contradictions and areas of ambiguity prevailing among Italian elites under Fascism.” • Journal of Contemporary European Studies
“[a]smoothly written, thoughtful study” • H-Net
“…a sophisticated and very well researched study [that] makes a significant contribution to the growing corpus of studies of fascist culture and of the often subtle and varied ways in which the regime’s goals and messages were transmitted to the general public. It is well organized and well written and is intelligently structured.” • Christopher Duggan, University of Reading
During the twenty years of Mussolini’s rule a huge number of travel texts were written of journeys made during the interwar period to the sacred sites of Fascist Italy, Mussolini’s newly conquered African empire, Spain during the Civil War, Nazi Germany, Communist Russia and the America of the New Deal. Examining these observations by writers and journalists, the author throws new light on the evolving ideology of Fascism, how it was experienced and propagated by prominent figures of the time; how the regime created a utopian vision of the Roman past and the imperial future; and how it interpreted the attractions and dangers of other totalitarian cultures.
The book helps gain a better understanding of the evolving concepts of imperialism, which were at the heart of Italian Fascism, and thus shows that travel writing can offer an important contribution to historical analysis.
Charles Burdett, Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies at the University of Bristol, specializes on Italian culture under Fascism. He is the author of Vincenzo Cardarelli and his Contemporaries (Oxford University Press, 1999). He is the editor with Claire Gorrara and Helmut Peitsch of European Memories of the Second World War (Berghahn Books, 1999) and with Derek Duncan, of Cultural Encounters: European Travel Writing of the 1930s (Berghahn Books, 2002).
Subject: 20th Century History
Area: Southern Europe
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Writing on Fascist Culture
Chapter 1. Signs of Roman Rule: Italian Tourists and Travellers in the Eastern Mediterranean
Chapter 2. Fascination and Hostility: Two Ambivalent Accounts of Distant Journeys
Chapter 3. The Other Spaces of Fascist Italy: The Cemetery, the Prison and the Internal Colony
Chapter 4. Narratives of Settlement in Italian East Africa 1936–1941
Chapter 5. Itineraries through Melodrama: Italian Correspondents and the Spanish Civil War
Chapter 6. Representing Rapprochement with Nazi Germany
Chapter 7. Competing Models of Humanity: Perceptions of Russia and the United States on the Eve of the Second World War
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