By Claudio G. Segre
Pioneering aviator, blackshirt chief, colonial governor, confidante and heir-apparent to Benito Mussolini, the rushing and charismatic Italo Balbo exemplified the beliefs of Fascist Italy through the Twenties and 30s. He earned nationwide notoriety after global struggle I as a ruthless squadrista whose blackshirt forces overwhelmed socialist and exchange union companies. As Minister of Aviation from 1926 to 1933, he led across the world heralded mass trans-Atlantic flights. while his aerial armada reached the U. S., Chicago commemorated him with a Balbo street, big apple staged a ticker-tape parade, and President Roosevelt invited him to lunch. As colonial governor from 1933 to 1940, Balbo remodeled Libya from backward colony to version Italian province. To many, Italo Balbo appeared to embrace a noble imaginative and prescient of Fascism and the hot Italy.
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Extra resources for Italo Balbo: A Fascist Life
Fascism usually conjures up images of sadistic, jack-booted automatons in steel helmets and of Hitler marching past tens of thousands of followers drawn up in orderly rows at Nuremberg. Hitler's Germany, however, wasn't typical of fascism. The term fascism derives from the Italian, from fascio, a perfectly ordinary word with no more sinister meaning than a bundle, a weight, a group or grouping. ) Fascism originated in Italy toward the end of World War I and scored its first great success with Mussolini's March on Rome in 1922.
Paolo Balbo took time out from his busy schedule as a lawyer in Rome to put his father's archivesstill in the possession of the familyat my disposal. He helped me to arrange many valuable interviews with Balbo's old friends and former collaborators. He shared with me his enthusiasm for flying, especially its pioneering phase. He did more than talk he showed me. On a glorious April afternoon we donned flying suits, helmets, and goggles, and he took me up in his vintage red-and-white-striped De Havilland Tiger biplane for an unforgettable panorama of the Roman campagnaand of what flying meant in his father's day.
8 Balbo's sister Egle, two years his junior, was his favorite playmate. 1. , Vita di Balbo) When Italo was two the family moved from Quartesana to Ferrara proper, to Via Mortara 49, a few houses away from the main street of Corso Giovecca and within easy walking distance of the center of town. 2. , Vita di Balbo) teachers, the house was well provisioned with books. Maps studded the walls of the hallway, the living room, and the children's bedrooms. In this house Italo began his formal education.
Italo Balbo: A Fascist Life by Claudio G. Segre