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  • Promoting a Romantic Biography

    Giorgio Bertellini

    Chapter from the book: Bertellini, G. 2019. The Divo and the Duce: Promoting Film Stardom and Political Leadership in 1920s America.


    Chapters 7 and 8 discuss the promotion of Mussolini in 1920s America. While chapter 8 focuses on motion pictures, chapter 7 showcases the range of non-film publicity initiatives, involving both American and Italian public and private institutions. I discuss the role played by the Italy American Society (IAS), a lobbying organization with links to the U.S. State Department, Wall Street, and the press. IAS’s most active members were the U.S. ambassador to Italy and the chief executive for J. P. Morgan. Both promoted the Duce as an ideal anti-Bolshevik shortly after the March on Rome in October 1922 and legitimized U.S. financial relationships with the Fascist regime. Another key mediation came from syndicated and book-length biographies of the Fascist leader that emph masculinity was cast as appealing to a mass audience in the United States. The chapter also discusses the ways in which William Randolph Hearst supported the Duce through his press and newsreel services in the late 1920s and in the 1930s.

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    Bertellini, G. 2019. Promoting a Romantic Biography. In: Bertellini, G, The Divo and the Duce. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.62.h

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Jan. 15, 2019