From Myth to Reality and Back Again: The Fascist reading of Garibaldi and the Risorgimento

Bjørn Thomassen, Rosario Forlenza

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This article analyzes the elaboration, interpretation and political-instrumental
use of Garibaldi during Fascism and during the transition period toward post-war Republican and democratic Italy. Both Fascism and the political forces of the new Italy employed Garibaldi in an attempt to gain public support and to bolster their claims to historical legitimacy. While regime changes are usually accompanied by a radical dismantling of mythical and ritualistic underpinnings of the former regime’s legitimacy, the Italian transition from Fascism to democracy represented a remarkable case of symbolic
and historical-semantic continuity. The article argues that Fascism elaborated upon the figure on Garibaldi in a way that made alternative future readings and interpretations inherently possible, creating a legacy of polysemic, ambivalent and open-ended memory politics.
TidsskriftBulletin of Italian Politics
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)263-281
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 5 maj 2011
Udgivet eksterntJa

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