Historicism and Fascism in Modern Italy
Published: October 2007© 2007
352 Pages, 6.04 x 9.00 x 0.93 in
During the early decades of the twentieth century, Italy produced distinctive innovations in both the intellectual and political realms. On the one hand, Benedetto Croce (1866-1952) and Giovanni Gentile (1875-1944) spearheaded a radical rethinking of historicism and philosophical idealism that significantly reoriented Italian culture. On the other hand, the period witnessed the first rumblings of fascism. Assuming opposite sides, Gentile became the semi-official philosopher of fascism while Croce argued for a renewed liberalism based on 'absolute' historicism.
In Historicism and Fascism in Modern Italy, David D. Roberts uses the ideological conflict between Croce and Gentile as a basis for a wider discussion of the interplay between politics and ideas in Italy during the early-twentieth century. Roberts examines the connection between fascism and the modern Italian intellectual tradition, arguing that the relationship not only deepens our understanding of fascism and liberalism but also illuminates ongoing dangers and possibilities in the wider Western world. This set of twelve essays by one of the leading scholars in the field represents an authoritative view of the modern Italian intellectual tradition, its relationship with fascism, and its enduring implications for history, politics, and culture in Italy and beyond.
‘Historicism and Fascism in Modern Italy sheds fresh light on the nature of Fascism as a revolutionary socio-political project and on the anomalies in how this pivotal episode in cultural and political history has been digested in, or regurgitated from, Italy’s collective memory. The result is a truly multifaceted book.’ Roger Griffin, European History Quarterly: vol 41:01:11