Mussolini and Hitler
The Forging of the Fascist Alliance
Imprint: Yale University Press
From 1934 until 1944 Mussolini met Hitler numerous times, and the two developed a relationship that deeply affected both countries. While Germany is generally regarded as the senior power, Christian Goeschel demonstrates just how much history has underrepresented Mussolini’s influence on his German ally.
In this highly readable book, Goeschel, a scholar of twentieth-century Germany and Italy, revisits all of Mussolini and Hitler’s key meetings and asks how these meetings constructed a powerful image of a strong Fascist-Nazi relationship that still resonates with the general public. His portrait of Mussolini draws on sources ranging beyond political history to reveal a leader who, at times, shaped Hitler’s decisions and was not the gullible buffoon he's often portrayed as. The first comprehensive study of the Mussolini-Hitler relationship, this book is a must-read for scholars and anyone interested in the history of European fascism, World War II, or political leadership.
“Very readable book”— Neil Gregor, Times Higher Education Supplement
“Goeschel has added another interesting book to our reading lists” —R.J.B. Bosworth, Literary Review
"An excellent study of the Axis in its own right, Goeschel’s book explores an entirely new dimension of Fascist–Nazi relations by mining the often overlooked, seemingly superficial, aspects of totalitarian diplomacy. Sidelining scholarship that views the Axis through the lens of ideology or a ‘fascist minimum’, Goeschel presents a complex and satisfying story of an alliance driven by self-interest, conflict and strategic manoeuvring"—Michael Ebner, German History
“An excellent study of the Axis in its own right, Goeschel’s book explores an entirely new dimension of Fascist–Nazi relations by mining the often overlooked, seemingly superficial, aspects of totalitarian diplomacy”—Michael Ebner, German History
“[T]he book is outstanding in its readability.”—Ángel Alcalde, Contemporary European History
“Goeschel demonstrates the ambiguity in Nazi-Fascist relations, depicting an alliance that was by no means inevitable, well-planned or coordinated, let alone marked by a linear development to an ‘ever closer Axis’ made of equals.”—Bastian Matteo Scianna, War in History
“Through meticulous dissection of the novel choreography and symbolism of modern dictators, with special focus on the constructed imagery of the meetings between Mussolini and Hitler, Christian Goeschel's excellent book is able to cast more light than any previous historian has done on the cynical self-serving character of their increasingly catastrophic ‘special relationship’.”—Ian Kershaw
“Fascinating, deeply researched and well-written. This promises to be the definitive study of the Mussolini-Hitler relationship.”—Lucy Riall, author of Garibaldi