Edition: 2019
Pages: 264
Series: BUL
ISBN: 9788858134870

Totalitarian Modernity. Italian fascism

Emilio Gentile (a cura di)



Technological progress, economic development, power over nature, control of your destiny: in a little over one hundred years modernity has revolutionised the human condition based on millennial arrangements. Yet those conquests are marked by an ambiguous contradiction. Modern civilisation, even as it frees human beings from epidemics, famines, slavery and ignorance, produces new miseries and triggers increasingly lethal wars; while it exalts the principle of equality and popular sovereignty, it nourishes a new form of political tyranny and totalitarianism. Fascist Italy was the first among the western countries to live through an experience of this kind (so much so that the term “totalitarianism” was coined in Italy). In this book, several of the foremost national and international historians illustrate the nature of the Fascist regime as an expression of a totalitarian modernity. Their thesis—which up to a few decades ago would have raised a chorus of protest and condemnation but which nowadays has its own place in international historiography—is that fascism was a modern political experiment born of the tensions and conflicts characterising modernity, with the ability to propose in many areas—from the sacralisation of politics to the mobilisation of the arts, from the organisation of consensus to the fight against bolshevism—political, cultural and social solutions that Italians judged more effective than liberalism and communism in dealing with and spearheading the turbulent processes of modernisation. Soon, millions of fellow Europeans would reach the same conclusion…

The author

Emilio Gentile

Emilio Gentile is an historian of international renown, he is emeritus professor at ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome. He received the Hans Sigrist Prize at the University of Berna for his studies on the religions of politics. Among his main works published by Laterza, often reprinted and translated all over the world: The Cult of the Lictor: the sacralisation of politics in fascist Italy; Politics as religion; Fascism: History and interpretation; Fascism in three chapters; God’s democracy: American religion after September 11 (Burzio Prize); Stone fascism; Two gunshots, ten million dead, the end of a world; The March on Rome and Fascism in Power; The leader and the Crowd; “In a democracy people are always sovreign” False!.

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