Cover: The Perfect Fascist: A Story of Love, Power, and Morality in Mussolini’s Italy, from Harvard University PressCover: The Perfect Fascist in HARDCOVER

The Perfect Fascist

A Story of Love, Power, and Morality in Mussolini’s Italy

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$35.00 • £28.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674986398

Publication Date: 08/11/2020

Trade

528 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

37 photos, 6 maps

Belknap Press

World

“Reveals how ideology corrupts the truth, how untrammeled ambition destroys the soul, and how the vanity of white male supremacy distorts emotion, making even love a matter of state.”—Sonia Purnell, author of A Woman of No Importance

“The brilliance of de Grazia’s book lies in the way that she has made a page-turner of Teruzzi’s chaotic life, while providing a scholarly and engrossing portrait of the two decades of Fascist rule.”—Caroline Moorhead, Wall Street Journal

“Extraordinary…illuminates the ways in which the all-consuming nature of fascism distorted Italian society and destroyed the lives of individuals. I could not put it down.”—Margaret MacMillan, author of Paris 1919

When Attilio Teruzzi, a decorated military officer, married a rising American opera star, his good fortune seemed settled. The wedding was capped with a blessing by Mussolini himself. Yet only three years later, the early convert to the Fascist cause, now commander of the Black Shirts, renounced his wife. Lilliana was Jewish, and fascist Italy would soon introduce its first race laws.

The Perfect Fascist pivots from the intimate story of a tempestuous courtship and inconvenient marriage to the operatic spectacle of Mussolini’s rise and fall. It invites us to see in the vain, unscrupulous, fanatically loyal Attilio Teruzzi an exemplar of fascism’s New Man. Victoria De Grazia’s landmark history shows how the personal is always political in the fascist quest for manhood and power. In his self-serving pieties and intimate betrayals, his violence and opportunism, Teruzzi was a forefather of the illiberal politicians of today.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Cover: A Theory of Justice: Original Edition, by John Rawls, from Harvard University Press

John Rawls: Speaking in a Shared Political Language

On the occasion of the anniversary of the publication of A Theory of Justice, Andrius Gališanka, author of John Rawls: The Path to a Theory of Justice, reflects on some of Rawls’s ideas on moral and political reasoning