British historian Morgan's account of Italian society during World War II hinges on his perception that Italy has a split memory about its participation: amnesia about the years 1940-43, when it was an aggressor, and a more positive recollection of the years 1943-45, when it was a Nazi-occupied theater of war. Noting that there are monuments to victims of the latter period, and rarely to those of the former, Morgan ponders the gusts of politics and war that buffeted ordinary Italians. Those who kept their heads down when Mussolini took Italy to war could no longer temporize their allegiance after he fell from power in July 1943. This became a pressing, potentially lethal matter when Germany invaded in September 1943 and restored Mussolini to power. The recruitment demands of his regime, activities of partisans, and forced labor drafts by the Germans presented ordinary people with impossible situations. Sympathetic to on-the-ground dilemmas, Morgan rescues the traumatic period from the tendency to reduce the pressures of the time to a resister/collaborator dichotomy. For large WWII collections. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
`Review from previous edition An absorbing account of how ordinary Italians coped under the regime of a man who was both hated and revered...It is a book which will be welcomed by students of the era.' Vincent Moss, Tribune Books (Review)