Galeazzo Ciano: The Fascist Pretender
Building on extensive archival research and important scholarly analysis, Galeazzo Ciano: The Fascist Pretender examines the life of Galeazzo Ciano, foreign minister of fascist Italy from 1936 to 1943 and Benito Mussolini’s son-in-law. Ciano’s life serves as a lens through which to gain a better understanding of crucial issues of Italian and European fascism, including the fascistization of society and politics, foreign relations, and the problem of succession. The biography follows an innovative thematic structure that focuses on major aspects of Ciano’s life, including his family, his political career, his diplomacy, and his desire to succeed Mussolini.
Filling a substantial gap in the existing literature on the history of fascism, this book is the first comprehensive analysis of a key player of Italian fascism other than Mussolini; it also offers a long overdue critical assessment of Ciano’s famous diary, one of the most important texts from the period. Using visual materials such as photographs and films as sources and not just as illustrative material, Tobias Hof allows us to rethink our understanding of fascism and offers a new perspective on the history of fascist Italy.
- Series: Toronto Italian Studies
- World Rights
- Page Count: 472 pages
- Illustrations: 21
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.4in x 9.2in
"In this splendidly nuanced study, Tobias Hof has provided the first serious English-language biography of Galeazzo Ciano, the son-in-law of the Duce. Ciano was a rich, bright, and clever fascist whose story ended in early death when he was executed by Mussolini’s regime in January 1944, with Mussolini cravenly allowing his son-in-law to die for his own failings as a dictator. As Tobias Hof notes, the Mussolinian version of tyranny was to be a one-generation affair."
Richard Bosworth, Senior Research Fellow in History, Jesus College, University of Oxford
"Italian fascism is not only Mussolini. This long-overdue academic biography of Galeazzo Ciano is an important contribution towards a better understanding of the fascist dictatorship. Fascism was not a monolithic power but rather a network of powers, where familism, social environments, and strong friendships were crucial to build careers and to destroy them. Because of his origins and generation, Ciano cannot be enumerated among the fascist gerarchi of the ‘first wave’ like Italo Balbo and Dino Grandi. Tobias Hof's biography of Ciano enables a better understanding of the consolidation of fascism and the rapid rise and collapse of powerful people and a political system. Hof tries to answer the question of when and, above all, if Ciano was really considered Mussolini’s heir."
Patrizia Dogliani, Professor of Contemporary History, University of Bologna
Author InformationTobias Hof is a Privatdozent for Modern History at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität.
Table of contents
List of Illustrations
1. The Family
The Son of a Hero
The Ciano Family in Livorno
The Fascist Family
Shaping Italian Society
2. The Politician
The Catholic and Monarchist
The Fascist Oligarchy
3. The Diplomat
Italy’s Role in the World
Diplomacy and Performance
Parallel and Secret Diplomacy
Blackmail, Terror, and War
Assessing Fascist Italy’s Foreign Diplomacy
4. The Successor
The Deputy Duce
Fascist Masculinities: Ciano versus Mussolini
The Undecided One
The “Good Fascist”
Succession and Struggle in Fascism
Epilogue: A Man of His Time
Subjects and Courses