La cultura fascista (The fascist culture)

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Il Mulino.

The title of the Italian translation is misleading. The original (Fascist modernities) more faithfully reflects the author’s intention not to examine the entire spectrum of Italian culture under fascism, or even just the cultural fields in which the regime entered to support, control or finance, but to analyze the regime’s attempt to generate a new intellectual model and to coin a new form of collective identity through the channels of mass communication. Nevertheless, it is one of the most innovative contributions of the historiography on fascism of those years. Particularly interesting for the perspective on cinema, the volume of Ben-Ghiat has marked a watershed: in the following years the cultural dimension of the dictatorship will be massively rediscovered thanks to the renewed interest of historians, media historians and art historians.