This introductory chapter explains the coverage of this book, which is about fascist modernities in Italy during the period from 1922 to 1945. It examines how one project of national regeneration and international conquest developed in Italy in the decades following World War I and argues that fascism appealed to many Italian intellectuals as a new model of modernity that would resolve both the contemporary European crisis and long-standing problems of the national past. It discusses Benito Mussolini's definition of fascism as the revolution of reaction which expressed tensions within modernity between the push toward progress and the fear of degeneration. It describes elaboration of visions of fascist culture and modernity and attempts to reconstruct how Italian intellectuals crafted new identities for themselves as men and women working within the regime's reward and punishment structures.
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