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Catalog Archive / Fall 2021

A History of Italian Fascist Culture, 1922–1943
Translated by Marissa Gemma

George L. Mosse Series in the History of European Culture, Sexuality, and Ideas
Steven E. Aschheim, Skye Doney, Mary Louise Roberts, and David J. Sorkin, Series Editors

Praise for the Italian edition:

“An excellent work.”
Il giornale di Vicenza

“A work of synthesis like Tarquini’s is not only useful but also necessary.”
L’indice dei libri del mese

Alessandra Tarquini’s A History of Italian Fascist Culture, 1922–1943 is widely recognized as an authoritative synthesis of the field. The book was published to much critical acclaim in 2011 and revised and expanded five years later. This long-awaited translation presents Tarquini’s compact, clear prose to readers previously unable to read it in the original Italian.

Tarquini sketches the universe of Italian fascism in three broad directions: the regime’s cultural policies, the condition of various art forms and scholarly disciplines, and the ideology underpinning the totalitarian state. She details the choices the ruling class made between 1922 and 1943, revealing how cultural policies shaped the country and how intellectuals and artists contributed to those decisions. The result is a view of fascist ideology as a system of visions, ideals, and, above all, myths capable of orienting political action and promoting a precise worldview.

Building on George L. Mosse’s foundational research, Tarquini provides the best single-volume work available to fully understand a complex and challenging subject. It reveals how the fascists used culture—art, cinema, music, theater, and literature—to build a conservative revolution that purported to protect the traditional social fabric while presenting itself as maximally oriented toward the future.


Alessandra Tarquini is an associate professor of contemporary history at Sapienza University in Rome. She is also the author of Il Gentile dei fascisti: gentiliani e antigentiliani nel regime fascista. Marissa Gemma is an accomplished translator of works including, most recently, Goods: Advertising, Urban Space, and the Moral Law of the Image by Emanuele Coccia.




“It is not an exaggeration to say that this is already a kind of classic in Italian fascist cultural history. There is nothing like it in any language.”
—Stanley G. Payne, Hilldale–Jaume Vicens Vives Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison

“Specialized readers will welcome this first English translation of the second Italian edition (published in 2016) of this important book by Tarquini. . . . Recommended.”
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February 2022
LC: 2021028485 DG
264 pp. 6 x 9

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Printed Case $39.95 S
ISBN 9780299336202
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