- 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
Squadrism characterized fascism in a decisive manner, furnishing it with a special impulse in its struggle against its political adversaries from its first beginnings until its taking of power. The roots of the squadrists were nourished by the war experience, especially so-called arditismo, the spirit that had driven young men who had fought as volunteers in assault units. The initial brigade or manipolo of squadrists was founded in Milan in the winter of 1918–19 by ex-arditi officer Ferruccio Vecchi, attracting men who were finding it difficult to resume civilian life. Bound to the charismatic figure of Benito Mussolini, the brigade acted as a bodyguard for the managing editor of the paper Il popolo d'Italia, with special fervour in defending the value of the war and in deprecating socialist pacifism. Among the movement's most significant figures was Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who led attacks against what he called ‘pro-Bolshevik’ rallies.
Mimmo Franzinelli is an independent scholar who has written a number of important books about Fascism. His study of squadrist violence, Squadristi: protagonisti e techniche della violenza fascista, 1919–1922, won the prestigious B. Croce prize in Italy. His most recent books are Il delitto Rosselli: 9 giugno 1937:anatomiadiun omicidio politico (2007)and La sottile linea nera: neofascismo e servizi segreti da Piazza Fontana a Piazza della Loggia (2008).
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