Cover image for Mussolini as diplomat : Il Duce's Italy on the world stage
Mussolini as diplomat : Il Duce's Italy on the world stage
Lamb, Richard.
Personal Author:
First Fromm International edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Fromm International, 1999.

Physical Description:
x, 356 pages, 16 pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Format :


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DG575.M8 L34 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"Was Mussolini's alliance with Hitler foreordained? Could Italy have been kept out of the Second World War? Did the policy of England's Anthony Eden really push Mussolini into Hitler's arms instead of luring him back to his former policy of friendship with Great Britain? These are some of the intriguing questions which historian Richard Lamb asks about the Italian dictator's foreign policy toward Germany, on the one hand, and Britain and France on the other before he plunged his country into the disastrous alliance with Hitler." "Lamb's revisionist assessment of Mussolini's diplomatic blunders in his relations to the other European powers is based on British and Italian documents finally released after more than half a century."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

Richard Lamb is an eminent historian with eight books to his credit, Lamb served with the British Eighth Army in Italy during World War II.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Richard Lamb, a British historian (War in Italy 1943-1945: A Brutal Story) and author of several books about Britain and Italy in World War II, reassesses the diplomatic history of Mussolini's Italy, attempting to answer questions that have been revived by the recent opening of previously inaccessible archives. This book offers a detailed treatment of Europe's foreign politics during the period leading up to the outbreak of World War II, including a lucid treatment of the war in Ethiopia and Italy's involvement in the Spanish Civil War. In his approach to this controversial subject, Lamb clearly views British mistakes as key factors influencing Mussolini and Hitler. This work builds on that of other major historians such as Denis Mack Smith (Mussolini, 1982) and the Italian historian Renzo de Felice while offering a distinctive viewpoint. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries.ÄBarbara L. Walden, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

For Mussolini, style was preeminent in his repertoire. Boast, bluff, deceit, self-deception, opportunism, and brutality were essential elements of that style. His diplomacy was conducted accordingly, as Fascist Italy asserted an increasingly exaggerated role in the international arena during the 1930s, from imperialist adventure in Ethiopia and intervention in Spain's civil war to the crisis over Czechoslovakia in 1938. Author of several works, including a study of war in Italy, 1943-45, Lamb attempts here to refashion generally accepted interpretations of Mussolini's diplomacy. In particular, Lamb examines Mussolini's fatal partnership with Nazi Germany, frequently attributed to ideological affiliation, the Duce's delusions of grandeur, and poorly calculated profit-taking. Drawing mainly on British and Italian documents, Lamb draws a portrait of an insecure dictator in search of a safe solution to Italy's aspirations. Frustrated by the British, rejected by Eden in particular, Mussolini was virtually forced to ally with Hitler, whom he came to detest. Mussolini's invitations and overtures were rebuffed by London, even while British appeasement of Germany was at its zenith. Much of this interpretation is challenging, much is problematic, and heavy reliance on documentary sources may result in an underestimation of the aggressive dynamism of Fascist ideology. Upper-division undergraduates and above. N. Greene; Wesleyan University

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Mapsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
1. Early Days and Rise to Powerp. 17
2. Lausanne, London and the Ruhrp. 28
3. The Dodecanese, Corfu, and Abyssiniap. 39
4. The Matteotti Murder and Dictatorshipp. 59
5. Locarno, the Briand Plan, and the Austro-German Customs Unionp. 78
6. War Debts, Disarmament, and the Four-Power Pactp. 93
7. Mussolini and Austriap. 100
8. The Stresa Frontp. 108
9. The Abyssinian War, and Sanctionsp. 129
10. Mussolini Rejected by Edenp. 155
11. The Spanish Civil Warp. 170
12. The Easter Agreementp. 205
13. Munichp. 219
14. Prague, Albania, and War with Germanyp. 239
15. Mussolini on the Brink of Warp. 266
16. Mussolini at Warp. 289
17. Mussolini's Endp. 314
Notesp. 325
Bibliographyp. 336
Indexp. 341