How did Mussolini manage to take power and hold onto it through two decades? What inspired Churchill to call him 'the Roman genius' and Pope Pius XI to say he was 'sent by Providence'? How did he manage to do away with democracy and not use mass murder to stay in command? Mussolini ruled by popular demand but his fatal error was his alliance with Hitler, whom he despised. This union, according to Nicholas Farrell, was far from inevitable, the result more of Anglo-French incompetence and his fear of Hitler than a wild desire for war or world domination, let alone the extermination of the Jews. Drawing on a vast range of fresh material, Nicholas Farrell presents an intriguing and startling new picture of one of the key figures of the twentieth century.
Nicholas Farrell, a former DAILY TELEGRAPH journalist, now contributes to the SPECTATOR. He researched and wrote the biography while living in Italy.