Book Review: Mussolini and His Generals: The Armed Forces and Fascist Foreign Policy, 1923-1940


by John Gooch

New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Pp. xiv, 651. Illus, maps, tables, notes, biblio., index. $35.00. ISBN:0521856027

Noting that too often scholars have looked at the foreign policy and military institutions of Mussolini's Italy as essentially separate topics, John Gooch, the most noted English specialist on the Fascist experience, points out that since there was essentially only one man directing both, Il Duce, and thus they have to be studied in tandem. 

In Mussolini and His Generals Gooch does just that, looking at the complex interactions between Italy's foreign and military policy from the "March on Rome" in 1922 to the "Stab in the Back" in 1940.  This is a very detailed, serious work, filled with surprising revelations, that braids an examination of the evolution of Mussolini's foreign policy objectives with convoluted inter-service fights over money, control of aviation, and more, ideological and political clashes within Fascism and between Fascists and Monarchists, and changes in the global economic, diplomatic, and strategic environment. 

A very good book, for the very serious student of Fascism , Italy , or the Second World War.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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