Italian Heartbreak
Life Under Mussolini

By Cosimo Arrichiello
August 2004
Book Guild
ISBN: 1857767640
282 pages, Illustrated, 6" x 9 ¼"
$37.50 Paper Original

Set against a backdrop of political turmoil during Mussolini's reign of Fascist rule, the author's account of Neapolitan family life is epic in its scope and powerfully moving in its humanity. From the early 1920s to Mussolini's rise to power in the years preceding the Second World War, Italy underwent an unprecedented economic, social and political transformation.

However, instead of the longed for renaissance, in which II Duce would restore the fatherland to the glory of its Ancient Roman Empire, the country spiraled into a period poverty, fear, indoctrination and eventually war, as the Italian dictator pursued a fatal alliance with Hitler and his ruthless expansion in Europe. All of this is seen through the eyes of Cosimo, a young catholic boy growing up on the outskirts of Naples, full of dreams and aspirations for a brighter future.

From Rome to Paris, from Rouen to Java, young Cosimo's hopes and heartbreaks are chronicled with a wealth of anecdote and colorful characters. As war takes its toll on his land and people, he is forced to leave his Bella Napoli, first as a conscript hiding out in the rural north, and eventually, like thousands before him, as an émigré, bound for an unforeseeable future in an unknown land.

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