The Body of Il Duce: Mussolini's Corpse and the Fortunes of Italy

by Sergio Luzzatto
Translated by Frederika Randall

Picador | May 2, 2006 | Trade Paperback

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A brilliant young historian follows the odyssey of Mussolini''s body in an "ingenious" exploration of the legacy of Italian Fascism (The New Yorker)

Bullet-ridden, spat on, strung up in a Milan square: this was the fate of Il Duce, as reviled in death as he was adored in life. With Italy''s defeat in World War II, the cult of Benito Mussolini''s physical self was brought to its grotesque denouement by a jeering crowd of thousands--one eerily similar to the throngs that had once roared their approval beneath his balcony.

In this groundbreaking work, Sergio Luzzatto traces the fortunes of Mussolini''s body from his charismatic domination of Fascist parades to his humiliating execution and beyond, as his corpse was buried, exhumed, stolen, and secreted away for ten years. Through this pursuit, Luzzatto demonstrates how, in a totalitarian state, the ruler''s body comes to incarnate the nation. Elegantly written and stunningly conceived, The Body of Il Duce is a compelling history of a country struggling to free itself from the thrall of Fascism.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 Pages, 4.72 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: May 2, 2006

Publisher: Picador

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0805080139

ISBN - 13: 9780805080131

Found in: History

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– More About This Product –

The Body of Il Duce: Mussolini's Corpse and the Fortunes of Italy

The Body of Il Duce: Mussolini's Corpse and the Fortunes of Italy

by Sergio Luzzatto
Translated by Frederika Randall

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 Pages, 4.72 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: May 2, 2006

Publisher: Picador

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0805080139

ISBN - 13: 9780805080131

From the Publisher

A brilliant young historian follows the odyssey of Mussolini''s body in an "ingenious" exploration of the legacy of Italian Fascism (The New Yorker)

Bullet-ridden, spat on, strung up in a Milan square: this was the fate of Il Duce, as reviled in death as he was adored in life. With Italy''s defeat in World War II, the cult of Benito Mussolini''s physical self was brought to its grotesque denouement by a jeering crowd of thousands--one eerily similar to the throngs that had once roared their approval beneath his balcony.

In this groundbreaking work, Sergio Luzzatto traces the fortunes of Mussolini''s body from his charismatic domination of Fascist parades to his humiliating execution and beyond, as his corpse was buried, exhumed, stolen, and secreted away for ten years. Through this pursuit, Luzzatto demonstrates how, in a totalitarian state, the ruler''s body comes to incarnate the nation. Elegantly written and stunningly conceived, The Body of Il Duce is a compelling history of a country struggling to free itself from the thrall of Fascism.

About the Author

Sergio Luzzatto is a professor of modern history at the University of Turin, Italy. He is the author of four works of history, and a regular contributor to the leading Italian dailies La Stampa and Corriere della Sera. He lives in Italy.

Editorial Reviews

"The hardest working corpse in Italy . . . led an extraordinary afterlife, worthy of a biographer of Luzzatto''s enthusiasm and skill." --The Nation

"Luzzatto, one of Italy''s most talented younger historians, has given us a fresh and vivid understanding of bodies, icons, and the legacy and memory of the Fascist dictator."
--Robert O. Paxton, author of The Anatomy of Fascism

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