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Italo Balbo: A Fascist Life (1988)

by Claudio G. Segre

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252765,418 (4.67)None
Pioneering aviator, blackshirt leader, colonial governor, confidante and heir-apparent to Benito Mussolini, the dashing and charismatic Italo Balbo exemplified the ideals of Fascist Italy during the 1920s and 30s. He earned national notoriety after World War I as a ruthless squadrista whose blackshirt forces crushed socialist and trade union organizations. As Minister of Aviation from 1926 to 1933, he led two internationally heralded mass trans-Atlantic flights. When his aerial armada reached the U. S., Chicago honored him with a Balbo Avenue, New York staged a ticker-tape parade, and President Roosevelt invited him to lunch. As colonial governor from 1933 to 1940, Balbo transformed Libya from backward colony to model Italian province. To many, Italo Balbo seemed to embody a noble vision of Fascism and the New Italy.… (more)
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I was in Claudio Segre's graduate seminar at the University of Texas when he had just started researching the Balbo book in detail. Twenty years later, I actually got to read it. Segre was fascinated with Balbo, and it comes through in this volume, which depicts the Italian aviator's often contradictory motivations in clear prose and exacting history. The story of fascism itself is also partly told through Balbo's experiences, and Segre makes clear the complexity and twists in its development that are far from the cartoonish version of history mostly made available on the subject these days. Segre died far too young. His voice was an important and serious one on this matter. ( )
  PaulCornelius | Apr 12, 2020 |
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Il 28 giugno 1940, alle 5,30 circa del pomeriggio, due aerei si avvicinarono alla fortificatissima base aerea di Tobruch, nella Libia orientale, non lontano dal confine egiziano.
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Pioneering aviator, blackshirt leader, colonial governor, confidante and heir-apparent to Benito Mussolini, the dashing and charismatic Italo Balbo exemplified the ideals of Fascist Italy during the 1920s and 30s. He earned national notoriety after World War I as a ruthless squadrista whose blackshirt forces crushed socialist and trade union organizations. As Minister of Aviation from 1926 to 1933, he led two internationally heralded mass trans-Atlantic flights. When his aerial armada reached the U. S., Chicago honored him with a Balbo Avenue, New York staged a ticker-tape parade, and President Roosevelt invited him to lunch. As colonial governor from 1933 to 1940, Balbo transformed Libya from backward colony to model Italian province. To many, Italo Balbo seemed to embody a noble vision of Fascism and the New Italy.

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