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My Rise And Fall Paperback – 22 Aug 1998

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 664 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (22 Aug. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306808641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306808647
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 3.8 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 619,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

mussolini (1883-1945) was the founder of Fascism and Italian dictator for 21 years.

Lamb is an eminent historian. He served with the British Eighth Army in Italy during World War II.

Lamb is an eminent historian. He served with the British Eighth Army in Italy during World War II.


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By A Customer on 3 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
My Rise, first published in English in 1928, details the dictator's early life and accession to power, in his own words. The second part of the book, My Fall, was written in the period between his rescue by the Nazis and his execution by partisans.
The early Duce confirms his bombastic and arrogant image, but emerges as more intelligent and ruthless than one may have suspected. The latter Duce, written as a virtual prisoner of Hitler, attempts to justify his place in history and escape personal responsibility for the disaster he brought upon the nation he undoubtedly loved.
Essential reading for anyone interested in the origins of the Second World War. The introduction by Richard lamb and preface by Max Ascoli are valuable bonuses, in themselves making the book worthwhile. (The "score" rating is an unfortunately ineradicable feature of the page. This reviewer does not "score" books.)
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By A Customer on 17 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
A very good book! For anyone with a remote interest in the man, or his times, or his nation, this is an excellent book and provides a glimpse into the mind of a political genius. Try it...you might find out you'll have a different opinion of Il Duce afterwards... Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A self-boasting rethoric style, but often sharp and unconcedingly acute analysis of those long forgotten years that changed Italy first, and then, the century of the world.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x99201d44) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x991e0324) out of 5 stars Mussolini: The self-made myth 3 May 2001
By jane k johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
MY RISE AND FALL is actually two books written twenty years apart. MY RISE is an autobiography written in l928 when Mussolini was extremely popular. The introduction by United States ambassador Richard Washurn Child is laudatory, in fact, a hagiography that represents the conservative opinion of that day. To modern readers this view seems a bit grotesque but was widely held by many important people such as Churchill. Mussolini was admired, feared, and universally believed to have been a renaissance genius-exactly the image the dictator carefully crafted through the years of glory. He preened, strutted, intimidated and philosophied on the world stage until he met Hitler and was reduced to a pathetic secondary role as comic 'side-kick'. We now know the tragedy Mussolini inflicted upon his nation, but one can understand his seductive genius by reading him Mussolini, unlike Hitler, could write-and write well. His terse masculine prose ripples across the page reenforcing the image of a hard modern Caesar. Pithy epigrams such as: "throttled by the skinny hand of poverty "(p.86); descriptive images: "ferrets were sent out to smell into my life"(p.95); dramatic scenes like when Zaniboni attempted to kill him: "The bullets pass, Mussolini remains" (p.237);challenging appeals: "If I go forward, follow me; If I recoil, kill me; If I die, revenge me!" (p.238); as well as softer images "the authority of the state was a kitten handled to death". Il Duce was also a great actor who lived his various roles with such zest he believed them himself. Observe Mussolini: fighting a duel with broadswords, skiing bare-chested down the alps, flying an airplane, driving his red sports car with his beautiful mistress Claretta Pettaci, taking his horse over incredibly high hurdles, or playing with a lion. These images combined with the world stateman brokering the Munich Conference-he was the only one there that knew French, German and English-or negotiating the Concordant with the Vatican;along with the family man accompanied by Dona Rachele and his five handsome children made him the idol of his nation. He had restored respect to his nation. Or did he? One can well understand how intellectuals at first flocked to his banner, Nobel prize winners such as Luigi Pirandello, Guglielmo Marconi, and Enrico Fermi were members of his Academy; Giovanni Gentile, his minister of education; Conductor Arturo Toscanni a Fascist candidate; Curzio Malaparte a war correspondent; and even philosopher Bennedetto Croce, a bitter opponent, supported the Ethiopian War. True, many later deserted, Toscanni and Fermi to the United States, but many remained. THE FALL OF MUSSOLINI reveals the true man behind the myth. Actually, Mussolini only writes of a period of twenty-four hours, the day he was dismissed from the government, The bulk of the fall was written by Max Asoli, a critic of the man and his movement. In this section the curtain is stripped away revealing a timid little fellow manuvering a complex illusion-pyrotechnics that could not harm any one. The real Duce was a humbug-with ulcers... The really strong people in his life were his women: Clara Pettaci, Edda Ciano and most of all, Dona Rachele... Mussolini was more Napoleon III than Hitler, in fact Hitler was his nemesis, and Mussolini knew it! Il Duce first thought the Fuhrer was a degenerate but like a hypnotized rabbit would not flee in horror from the viper. The result was Mussolini's degregation and the negative verdict of history.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99453d20) out of 5 stars Intriguing history, but little theory. 12 Dec. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on the belief that it would explain to me the very essence of Italian Fascism. Although some important themes and ideas of Mussolini's fascism were discussed, I was disappointed with the lack of detail and expansion. However, I was enthralled by Mussolini's elegant writing style.I found the Duce's view of his own history - however biased - very informing. It gives an intimate view of early 20th century Italy,and in particular, the mood of the Italian people(especially the war veterans). The book's two parts, the first written well before the Second World War and the second during the war, offer a stark comparison of the different outlooks on the world that Mussolini possessed - he was once popular and arrogant, then hated and bitter. The book offers an extraordinary opportunity to take a deep and intimate look inside Mussolini's soul, as well as a thorough - however biased - examination of Fascist Italy. A must for anyone interested in the Duce, Fascism's general themes or World War II in general.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x991e4780) out of 5 stars In his own words. 3 Nov. 1998
By WD Grissom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My Rise, first published in English in 1928, details the dictator's early life and accession to power, in his own words. The second part of the book, My Fall, was written in the period between his rescue by the Nazis and his execution by partisans.
The early Duce confirms his bombastic and arrogant image, but emerges as more intelligent and ruthless than one may have suspected. The latter Duce, written as a virtual prisoner of Hitler, attempts to justify his place in history and escape personal responsibility for the disaster he brought upon the nation he undoubtedly loved.
Essential reading for anyone interested in the origins of the Second World War. The introduction by Richard lamb and preface by Max Ascoli are valuable bonuses, in themselves making the book worthwhile. (The "score" rating is an unfortunately ineradicable feature of the page. This reviewer does not "score" books.)
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x993a78c4) out of 5 stars A Priceless Historical Account By Il Duce Himself 2 May 2005
By Octavius - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is actually a compilation of Benito Mussolini's memoirs set approximately 16 years apart: the first being dated c. 1928 only eight years after his Fascisti 'Black Shirts' had assumed power in Rome by plebescite; the second being dated c. 1944 when the Fascist party in Italy was able to retain power only with Germany's occupation and Mussolini's 'rescue' by German forces.

When it comes to Mussolini, most modern readers immediately compare him to Adolf Hitler even though they understand little of what brought fascism to Italy or why Mussolini was so well received at home and abroad. Contrary to what many believe, Mussolini never had a very high opinion of Adolf Hitler and tried desperately to form a political pact with France/England with regards to Italy's future: Mussolini remained opposed to Hitler because Germany was unified with Italy's arch-enemy, Austria: Mussolini formed the ill-fated axis alliance only at the last minute when he was unable to get the concessions he wanted and Germany formally declared war against France in 1940. It would be his demise as Mussolini and his party would lose power in Italy by 1943 and, instead of the great empire they had promised to the Italian populace, Italy had become a vassal state occupied by the German military: Mussolini himself being nothing more than Hitler's puppet and mouthpiece. Thus, through his memoirs, we can follow how he was a favorite defender of freedom against Boshevism in the 20s and 30s adored by the US and England, to becoming nothing more than Hitler's lapdog by 1943.

This is a very important book where, by his own words, one can measure the man for who he was. Unlike Hitler's rambling anti-semitic diatribe in 'Mein Kampf', Mussolini's papers address purely political and social questions adding with his rather pompous flair that he and his Fascisti are an indispensable to the formation and prosperity of the state. He explains why he was motivated to act and describes the political environment he found himself in fighting the socialist, communist, and capitalist interests in Italy. His memoirs are not only interesting from a historical perspective, but also from a political one in that they provide a lot of insight as to the events that were responsible for the development of fascist doctrines in Europe in that period of time.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99503948) out of 5 stars Missing 33 pages from the Second Half 6 May 2009
By Daniel Mims - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a very interesting work, but with one major flaw: a printing error. The second half of the book, "My Fall", ascends in pages up to page 148 where, on the following page drops back to page 117 and then reprints everything between 117 and 148, then picks up at page 181 skipping everything between page 148 and page 181 altogether. This is significant because it covers the portion directly following Mussolini's rescue by the Germans.

It is important to know there will be a big gap in the book if you buy this version. LOOK FOR ANOTHER VERSION THAT INCLUDES THE WHOLE BOOK!
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