Mussolini's Intellectuals: Fascist Social and Political Thought. By A. James Gregor. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004. 288p. $35.00.
A. James Gregor is the leading authority on Italian fascist ideology in the English language. Mussolini's Intellectuals is the conclusion of 40 years of scholarship on fascist intellectuals and the ideology they produced. While specialists will find little if anything new in this volume, the uninitiated will find a cogent presentation of the author's long-standing claim: that Italian fascism was not simply the violent, irrational, anti-intellectual phenomenon so often misrepresented in the historical and social scientific literature but, rather, a movement with a serious ideological core that responded to the historical failings of the liberal state, as well as to the conjunctural problems of the interwar period. The book's major strength derives from a firm grasp of the intellectual origins of fascism, particularly the unredeemed promise of the Risorgimento to develop a morally regenerated and unified nation.
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