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Ordinary Violence in Mussolini's Italy


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  • Date Published: January 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107617742

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About the Authors
  • Between 1926 and 1943, the Fascist regime arrested thousands of Italians and deported them to island internment colonies and small villages in southern Italy. Ordinary Violence in Mussolini's Italy analyses this system of political confinement and, more broadly, its effects on Italian society, revealing the centrality of political violence to Fascist rule. In doing so, the book shatters the widely accepted view that the Mussolini regime ruled without a system of mass repression. The Fascist state ruled Italy violently, projecting its coercive power deeply and diffusely into society through confinement, imprisonment, low-level physical assaults, economic deprivations, intimidation, discrimination and other quotidian forms of coercion. Moreover, by promoting denunciatory practices, the regime cemented the loyalties of 'upstanding' citizens while suppressing opponents, dissenters and social outsiders. Fascist repression was thus more intense and ideological than previously thought and even shared some important similarities with Nazi and Soviet terror.

    • Argues that Italian Fascism was more violent than previously thought
    • Proposes that the purpose of political violence was similar to Nazi or Soviet terror
    • Shows the impact of the violence on everyday life
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    • Winner of the 2011 Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize, American Historical Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Michael Ebner's excellent study of the Mussolini era gives a convincing account, based on much original research in the archives, of how the dictator and his followers deployed systematic violence over a period of more than 20 years.' Financial Times

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107617742
    • length: 306 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the Fascist archipelago
    2. Squad violence
    3. Institutions of Fascist violence
    4. Breaking the Antifascists, 1926–34
    5. The archipelago
    6. The politics of pardons
    7. Everyday political crime
    8. Ordinary Fascist violence
    9. The politics of everyday life
    10. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Michael R. Ebner, Syracuse University, New York
    Michael R. Ebner is Assistant Professor of History at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. He was the 2000–1 recipient of the Rome Prize in Modern Italian Studies from the American Academy in Rome. From 2001 to 2002, he was a Whiting Fellow at Columbia University.


    • Winner of the 2011 Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize, American Historical Association

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