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Mussolini: The Rise and Fall of Il Duce
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Mussolini: The Rise and Fall of Il Duce

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  5 reviews
With his signature insight and compelling style, Christopher Hibbertexplains the extraordinary complexities and contradictions that characterized Benito Mussolini. Mussoliniwas born on a Sunday afternoon in 1883 in a village in central Italy. On a Saturday afternoon in 1945 he was shot by Communist partisans on the shores of Lake Como. In thesixty-two years in between thos...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade (first published 1962)
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Dec 21, 2008 Ryan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everybody who wants to understand how WWII began
I had long been wanting to read about a great biography of Mussolini, and this one was incredible. Hibbert researched and wrote the book right back in the 1950s. I guess I don't know it for sure, but judging from the info, sources, and understanding he portrayed it appeared to me that he spoke fluent Italian as well. The writing is strong, clear, and interesting, and the perspective appears balanced.

The first half of the book deals with the life of Benito Mussolini. As fascinating as his early s...more
Was hoping for more of the peacetime history--as it was it just fast-forwarded onto the war. But jeez, if possible he was an even bigger idiot than Dolf. And the same kind of idiot: blaming everything on his generals, talking of wonder weapons, indecisive, full of preposterous proposals (the funniest was not reforesting the Perennines to make Italy colder to harden up his troops). What a dopey, strutting 12-year-old. The only difference is that maybe at the end he had time enough to glimpse this...more
While interesting, I thought that this book was poorly written. Hibbert did not do a very good job of explaining who the main players were, what their positions were, what it actually meant for the government to be fascist, or why and in what respects - as he mentions many times - the Italian people were so divided in their opinion of Mussolini. He also does things like refer to a person by their last name throughout the first 250 pages of the book, then switch to using their first name for no p...more
Little light on his early childhood, but found the pre-Duce days as a leftist in Switzerland very interesting.
I wish it were more detailed but it is a good brief read. not too much on his affairs or war history.
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Christopher Hibbert, MC, FRSL, FRGS (5 March 1924 - 21 December 2008) was an English writer, historian and biographer. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of many books, including Disraeli, Edward VII, George IV, The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici, and Cavaliers and Roundheads.

Described by Professor Sir John Plumb as "a writer of the highest ability and in the N...more
More about Christopher Hibbert...
The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I, Genius Of The Golden Age The Borgias and Their Enemies: 1431-1519 The Days of the French Revolution Queen Victoria: A Personal History

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