The essays collected in this book stem from a single concern: understanding what Fascism was and what role it played in Italian history. Vivarelli had devoted the greater part of his work as a historian precisely to these topics; a few years ago he even offered readers a painful memoir of the autobiographical roots of his commitment to research. In this new collection attention is focused in two central themes the culture of Fascism and the 1943-1945 civil war along with the related bitter controversy among historians in which the author actively participates. The long introductory essay is a reflection, touching on historical accounts and intellectual autobiography, on the inadequate relationship that Italy entertains with its Fascist past.
Roberto Vivarelli is professor emeritus at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa.