The extent to which European dictatorships of the twentieth century enjoyed popular support is one of the most contested and difficult questions in international contemporary history. In the case of Italian Fascism, two opposing points of view continue to hold sway. The first, orthodox viewpoint was established before 1945, and holds that the majority of the Italian population rejected Mussolini's regime, making widespread repression of the ubiquitous antifascist resistance essential for maintaining Mussolini's claim to power. A second, revisionist opinion first gained ground in the 1960s, and asserts that large segments of the population consented to the rule of regime, but that Fascist Italy was harmless compared to the dictatorships of Stalin and Hitler. It is only in recent years that an anti-revisionist, and, in certain cases, post-revisionist school of thought has been established. The five publications discussed in this article are representative of this new line of thinking. I argue that some of these publications are best characterised as anti-revisionist, as they focus predominantly on overturning the thesis of consensus. By contrast, only three of these works exhibit a truly post-revisionist perspective that attempts to combine both narratives into a new synthesis.
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