MUSSOLINI: An Intimate Biography By His Widow by Rachele & Albert Zarca Mussolini

MUSSOLINI: An Intimate Biography By His Widow

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Duce, you are too kindhearted,"" Hitler told Mussolini during the troubles of 1943. ""You'll never make a dictator."" Mama -- Benito's pet name for his wife Rachele -- agrees: ""He was opposed to hurting people. . . . His philosophy was such that he felt a more intimate bond with someone like Gandhi or Francis of Assisi. . . than with someone like Stalin or Hitler. . . ."" Too tender to cut off the wart on his neck his children loved to play with, a man afraid of ghosts and the evil eye, Benito is posthumously rehabilitated and castrated by Rachele's embarrassing mass of clinical evidence exposing the bambino behind the brawling, dueling cazzisto. Rachele sacrificed herself by tolerating his liaison with Claretta Petacci, but he always loved Mama best, and she, unlike Petacci, survived. ""The Italian is a great big well-meaning baby"" and at the age of 83 Rachele says the latter-day Italy of strikes and Bolshevism needs % stern father figure."" Basically ""Mussolini did more for his country than all his successors,"" but he fell through softness. This time no more nice guys: Mama, a patron saint of the growing fascist MSI, knows best.

Pub Date: June 24th, 1974
Publisher: Morrow