The political strategy of paramilitary organization and assault on labor and the Socialists carried out by the Fascist Action Squads in collusion with men of property was crucial in determining their seizure of power. But this also determined the ideological and organizational contours of Fascism itself. The Fascist Squads' alliances with men of property made them a formidable faction within the Fascist organization that could and did challenge Mussolini's authority. The making of Fascism is thus marked by the irony of the relationship between Mussolini and his political power base--the Squads. The very element of paramilitary organization that was decisive in the Fascists' seizure of power in the provinces had to be submerged by Mussolini if he was to preserve his power. Historical and comparative sociologists, political sociologists, and students of Italian Fascism and Italian history will find this new explanation of the making of Fascism both provacative and fascinating.
This was only Beauharnais's third command, and as a result of his less than stellar performance in his two earlier posts, he had acquired a poor reputation as a leader. Nafziger and Gioannini explain, however, that in this instance Beauharnais proved himself once and for all as the commander of an independent army, defending one of the most important parts of the French Napoleonic Empire. He made full use of geography, keeping his army in being, rather than risking it to seek a decision in the field. Because his stepson held the plains of Italy, Napoleon was able to concentrate his energies upon the evacuation of Germany and to demonstrate his military prowess in France.
Malta is a missing link to understanding many interrelationships among Mediterranean peoples and civilizations that hitherto have remained hidden or problematic. Located at the center of the Mediterranean Basin, Malta has been pivotal in numerous cultural transformations and can serve as a prism for understanding much that is important about lifeways in the Mediterranean: trade, subsistence systems, religion, urbanization, and the transmigration of peoples in war and in peace.
The first phase to follow after the split of Tyrol was systematic subjection by the Italian Fascists of what had been a regional majority in South Tyrol, but was now a minority within Italy. In a second phase, to gain an Italian majority, the country was settled with Italians from the south, who had a totally different mentality from the Italians residing in South Tyrol. With the emergence of National Socialism in Germany, and eventually with the Hitler-Mussolini Agreement of 1939, a third phase emerged: an experiment in "ethnic cleansing" called the "Option." Eighty-six percent of all South Tyroleans agreed to leave South Tyrol and become citizens of "Greater Germany." After World War II, the region was not returned to Austria: South Tyrol became the first victim of the Cold War. It took almost forty years of hard bargaining before South Tyrol was granted real autonomy in 1969. This resolution is now regarded as a model for solving minority conflicts.
Rolf Steininger traces the history of this troubled region during several periods: 1918-1922, in which he covers the period from the division of Tyrol to the march on Bozen; 1922-1938, in which he reviews fascist policy towards South Tyrol; the "Option" of 1939; the resettlement and so-called reunification from 1943-1945; South Tyrol's role as a bargaining chip in the Cold War, and the Gruber-Gasperi Agreement of 1946; and the volume closes with a discussion of the plan negotiated in 1969 for a new autonomy for South Tyrol that came to be known as the "Package."
Rolf Steininger is professor and head of the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Innsbruck. He is European Union Jean-Monnet Professor, senior fellow of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies of the University of New Orleans, board member of the European Community Studies Association, and the author of numerous books, articles, and television documentaries.