- List of Contributors
- The Ideological Origins of Fascism before 1914
- The First World War as Cultural Trauma
- The First World War as Totality
- The Aftermath of War
- Culture and Intellectuals
- The Peasant Experience under Italian Fascism
- Corporatism and the Economic Order
- Fascism and Catholicism
- Propaganda and Youth
- Women in Mussolini's Italy, 1922–1945
- Crime and Repression
- Fascism and War
- Dictators Strong or Weak?: The Model Of Benito Mussolini
- State and Society: Italy and Germany Compared
- Diplomacy and World War: The (First) Axis of Evil
- Communism: Fascism's ‘Other’?
- Yugoslavia and its Successor States
- The Netherlands
- Britain and its Empire
- Comparisons and Definitions
- Memory and Representations of Fascism in Germany and Italy
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the essence of Mussolini's foreign policy and Italy in the Second World War. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were dreamers who indulged in a mysticism of empire and race. According to the gifted historian MacGregor Knox, there are major similarities between the dictatorships of Hitler and Mussolini. Each regime is found to be genuinely revolutionary, their evil and violent leaders committed to subverting the international system of sovereign states in favour of an Axis New Order where racial and ethnic inferiors would be either annihilated or reduced to helots serving barbaric masters. Meanwhile, according to a dominant nationalist school of thought of Italy led by Renzo De Felice, Mussolini, in seeking ‘equidistance’ between the chief European states, aimed to utilize Nazi Germany as leverage to extract colonial concessions from the Western Powers.
H. James Burgwyn is Emeritus Professor of History at West Chester University. His books are Empire on the Adriatic: Mussolini's Conquest of Yugoslavia 1941–1943 (New York, 2005), Italian Foreign Policy in the Interwar Period 1918–1940 (Westport, CT, 1997), The Legend of the Mutilated Victory: Italy, the Great War, and the Paris Peace Conference, 1915–1919 (Westport, CT, 1993).
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