© 2017

The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy

Outside the State?

  • Joshua Arthurs
  • Michael Ebner
  • Kate Ferris


  • Explores the complex ways in which ordinary people lived, worked and maneuvered within the confines of the Fascist system

  • Provides a framework for understanding the Italian experience in relation to other totalitarian dictatorships in twentieth-century Europe and beyond

  • Appeals to scholars of Italian history, social history, political history and colonialism


Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Joshua Arthurs, Michael Ebner, Kate Ferris
    Pages 1-17
  3. Matteo Millan
    Pages 19-49
  4. Lorenzo Benadusi
    Pages 51-75
  5. Michael R. Ebner
    Pages 77-98
  6. Alessandra Gissi
    Pages 99-122
  7. Kate Ferris
    Pages 123-149
  8. Maura Hametz
    Pages 151-178
  9. Roberta Pergher
    Pages 179-204
  10. Joshua Arthurs
    Pages 205-232
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 257-265

About this book


This book explores the complex ways in which people lived and worked within the confines of Benito Mussolini’s regime in Italy, variously embracing, appropriating, accommodating and avoiding the regime’s incursions into everyday life. The contributions highlight the experiences of ordinary Italians – midwives and schoolchildren, colonists and soldiers – over the course of the Fascist era, in settings ranging from the street to the farm, and from the kitchen to the police station. At the same time, this volume also provides a framework for understanding the Italian experience in relation to other totalitarian dictatorships in twentieth-century Europe and beyond.


consumption empire fascism history Holocaust Italy media media studies memory modern history political science politics violence women World War II

Editors and affiliations

  • Joshua Arthurs
    • 1
  • Michael Ebner
    • 2
  • Kate Ferris
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of HistoryWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Department of HistorySyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  3. 3.School of HistoryUniversity of St. AndrewsSt. AndrewsUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Joshua Arthurs is Associate Professor of History at West Virginia University, USA.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy
  • Book Subtitle Outside the State?
  • Editors Joshua Arthurs
    Michael Ebner
    Kate Ferris
  • Series Title Italian and Italian American Studies
  • Series Abbreviated Title Italian and Italian American Studies
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-59418-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-92869-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-58654-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 265
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Italy
    Media Studies
    Political History
    History of World War II and the Holocaust
    Modern History
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“A most impressive collection of essays that gives us a new and deeper understanding of what life was like for ordinary people under Mussolini's repressive regime … . Addressing a wide variety of subjects, ranging from the impact of fascist violence and the regime's dictates about everyday eating habits, to fascist ideas about masculinity, the role of coercion, the priorities of fascist education, abortion under fascism, and the attitudes of fascist colonisers in Libya,  this study throws fresh light on the ways in which people adjusted to a would-be totalitarian regime which tried to invade almost all aspects of daily life. A most welcome contribution that combines an innovative theoretical approach with a series of rich empirical studies.” (Paul Corner, Centre for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, University of Siena, Italy)