What is fascism? Who is a fascist? Are we living in fascist times?  These questions are currently being debated across the globe, and not only among historians. Should we use the term to make analogies between the past and the present?  Or to make predictions about whether a particular contemporary movement or political figure is fascist, drawing  on typologies from interwar Europe? This talk addresses other possibilities for thinking about the past and the present from the perspective of Professor Grazia’s new book, The Perfect Fascis: A Story of Love, Power and Morality in Mussolini’s Italy (2020), about a misbegotten marriage between a New York Jewish diva and a rising Milanese fascist, later the commandant of Mussolini's Black Shirts.

Suggested readings:   https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2020/08/13/understand-fascism-american-history-mussolini-hitler-20th-century/ideas/essay/

From The Perfect Fascist: Prologue, Chapters 5-6 and pp. 424-427; please contact Joanna Drexel, joanna.drexel@rochester.edu, if you would like a pdf copy.

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