Conquest and Collaboration

Ruth Ben-Ghiat

in Fascist Modernities

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2001 | ISBN: 9780520223639
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938052 | DOI:
Conquest and Collaboration

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter examines how the colonial enterprise and racial measures of the regime of Italian leader Benito Mussolini were received by the intellectual class, and looks at the cultural effects of the Rome-Berlin Axis. It analyzes how the Ethiopian War and the events that followed it influenced ongoing discourses and debates about Italian and fascist modernity. It highlights the links between foreign and cultural policies and underscores the national concerns that motivated some intellectuals to support measures that are sometimes viewed as anomalous to Italian society and Italian fascism. It suggests that the invasion of Ethiopia constituted a watershed in the history of the Italian regime and it also marked the apex of the fascist myth of national regeneration.

Keywords: colonial enterprise; Benito Mussolini; intellectual class; cultural effects; Rome-Berlin Axis; Ethiopian War; Italian modernity; fascist modernity; Italian fascism; national regeneration

Chapter.  18802 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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