Victoria De Grazia: What Can We Learn from Mussolini’s Italy?
In Conversation with Andrew Keen on the Keen On
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On today’s episode, Victoria De Grazia, professor and author of The Perfect Fascist: A Story of Love, Power, and Morality in Mussolini’s Italy, discusses Mussolini’s rise and fall—and the similarities to the present moment in America.
From the episode:
Andrew Keen: Is there something that we can learn from Mussolini’s Italy—and in a positive way that would make contemporary America a better place?
Victoria De Grazia: To fight fascism, historically, you needed a big popular front, a very wide front, based on lots of different kinds of political interests. And I think that’s the key that the United States needs. First of all, to understand the problem, the huge problem of global capitalism, which permitted the United States to enter into this terrible political state and then to think way ahead, not just to defeat Trump, but to come up with major projects, which he is addressing. And this is awful, in the worst way. So that is the takeaway I get from studying fascism, that what’s important is the big picture in the end, and that you need a very wide spectrum of political understanding in order to join together.
Victoria de Grazia is Moore Collegiate Professor of History at Columbia University and a founding editor of Radical History Review. Her widely translated, prizewinning books include Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance through Twentieth-Century Europe and How Fascism Ruled Women. She has received the Woodrow Wilson, Jean Monnet, and Guggenheim fellowships and the Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome.