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Mussolini in Ethiopia, 1919–1935
The Origins of Fascist Italy's African War


  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107462366

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About the Authors
  • Mussolini in Ethiopia, 1919–1935 looks in detail at the evolution of the Italian Fascist regime's colonial policy within the context of European politics and the rise to power of German National Socialism. It delves into the tortuous nature of relations between the National Fascist Party and the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), while demonstrating how, ultimately, a Hitler-led Germany proved the best mechanism for overseas Italian expansion in East Africa. The book assesses the emergence of an ideologically driven Fascist colonial policy from 1931 onwards and how this eventually culminated in a serious clash of interests with the British Empire. Benito Mussolini's successful flouting of the League of Nations' authority heralded a new dark era in world politics and continues to have its resonance in today's world.

    • Presents new evidence about the early Nazi-Fascist relationship
    • Provides greater detail about Italian Fascism's role in European interwar politics
    • A fresh analysis of Mussolini's active role in deliberately undermining the League of Nations
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Historians who have been anxiously waiting for a successful updated history of the lead-up to Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 need wait no longer. Robert Mallett's meticulously researched account skilfully ties together Italy's diplomacy, military strategy and political calculation. Professor Mallett carefully guides us through Mussolini's tortured manoeuvrings in holding Hitler at bay from seizing Austria while proceeding with his own overseas invasion plans. The Duce's aggression was no bizarre flight of fancy but integral to Fascism's way of doing business. Resting his narrative on solid archival sources, Professor Mallett, in marvellous prose, gives us an eminently readable narrative that at the same time is an historical tour de force of research and creative thought.' H. James Burgwyn, West Chester University

    'This is diplomatic history at its best. Mallett's excellently researched and trenchant study underscores the brutal expansionism at the heart of the fascist regime and its responsibility for the destruction of collective security and the outbreak of the Second World War.' Christopher Duggan, Centre for Modern Italian History, University of Reading

    'This fascinating and clearly written study of Italy's determined drive to launch its war on Abyssinia in 1935 provides an important missing link in understanding the European crisis of the 1930s.' Martin Conway, Balliol College, University of Oxford

    'An important contribution to the literature from a brilliant scholar, Mussolini in Ethiopia, 1919–1935 is a must-read for anyone interested in European interwar politics. Mallett's command of the subject matter is impressive.' Robert von Maier, Editor-in-Chief, Global War Studies

    'Using a good mix of primary and secondary sources … this diplomatic history focuses on the background of Italy's invasion of Ethiopia (1935). Understanding the origins of the war could be challenging, given the fluid nature of the alliances, agreements, and interests (domestic, military, and geopolitical) within and among the contending countries (primarily Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain, and Yugoslavia). However, Mallett, a recognized authority on Italian Fascism, does a wonderful job of explaining what happened while 'keeping alive' other possible outcomes.' Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107462366
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.2kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Post-war realities: Italy 1919
    2. A mutilated peace: Italy, 1919–29
    3. The impending war of revenge: Europe and Africa, 1932
    4. Containing the Führer:
    5. Achieving an empire:
    6. Darkening waters: January–May 1935
    7. Facing down the British: May–July 1935
    8. Battle lines: August–October 1935.

  • Author

    Robert Mallett, University of Rome
    Robert Mallett is an experienced academic researcher and author of six books on Fascist foreign and strategic policy, ideology, and political religion theory. He has researched and taught at City University of New York, the University of the West of England, Bristol, and the Universities of Hanyang, Seoul, Leeds, Cambridge, Birmingham, Rome La Sapienza and Wisconsin, Madison, as well as the United States Naval Academy. He founded and edited the political science journal and book series Totalitarianism Movements and Political Religions (now Politics, Religion and Ideology) and has organized major international conferences in the United States, South Korea, Italy, and the United Kingdom. He has appeared on various radio and television programs.

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