This chapter discusses how traumatic events of the years 1943 to 1945 led many Italian intellectuals to see themselves as victims rather than perpetrators, which complicated the process of collective reckoning with their engagement with the dictatorship. It highlights the role of culture in the making and unmaking of projects for a fascist model of modernity and argues that the goal of reclamation provided a unifying framework for many fascist policies. It suggests that the collective inquiry about the relationship of politics and culture and the meanings of modernity in Italy initiated during the dictatorship would continue to shape national intellectual life after 1945.
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