A Story of Love, Power, and Morality in Mussolini’s Italy
“With lyrical precision, The Perfect Fascist reveals how ideology corrupts the truth, how untrammeled ambition destroys the soul, and how the vanity of white male supremacy distorts emotion, making even love a matter of state.”
—Sonia Purnell, author of A Woman of No Importance
The Perfect Fascist (Harvard University Press, 2020) tells the story of Attilio Teruzzi, an Italian army officer who became a commander of the Blackshirts and a colonial administrator under Mussolini. The book analyzes, through Teruzzi's career and personal history, the inner workings of Italian fascism. It also explores the issues of ultra-nationalism, strong men, and racial conflict, which remain sadly relevant in today's political discourse.
Victoria de Grazia, Moore Collegiate Professor of History, Columbia University
Rachel Donadio, Contributing Writer, The Atlantic
Susan Pedersen, Morris Professor of British History, Columbia University
Alexander Stille, San Paolo Professor of International Journalism, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University
Adam Tooze, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History and Director of the European Institute, Columbia University
Victoria de Grazia is Moore Collegiate Professor of History at Columbia University and a founding editor of Radical History Review. Her widely translated, prizewinning books include Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance through Twentieth-Century Europe and How Fascism Ruled Women. She has received the Woodrow Wilson, Jean Monnet, and Guggenheim fellowships and the Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome.
Sponsors: European Institute, the Department of History, the Department of Italian, the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, and the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities (all at Columbia University).