A Bold and Dangerous Family
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A Bold and Dangerous Family : The Remarkable Story of an Italian Mother, Her Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Fascism

3.77 (74 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

The acclaimed author of A Train in Winter and Village of Secrets delivers the next chapter in "The Resistance Quartet": the astonishing story of the aristocratic Italian family who stood up to Mussolini's fascism, and whose efforts helped define the path of Italy in the years between the World Wars--a profile in courage that remains relevant today.

Members of the cosmopolitan, cultural aristocracy of Florence at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Rosselli family, led by their fierce matriarch, Amelia, were vocal anti-fascists. As populist, right-wing nationalism swept across Europe after World War I, and Italy's Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini, began consolidating his power, Amelia's sons Carlo and Nello led the opposition, taking a public stand against Il Duce that few others in their elite class dared risk. When Mussolini established a terrifying and brutal police state controlled by his Blackshirts--the squaddristi--the Rossellis and their anti-fascist circle were transformed into active resisters.

In retaliation, many of the anti-fascists were arrested and imprisoned; others left the country to escape a similar fate. Tragically, Carlo and Nello were eventually assassinated by Mussolini's secret service. After Italy entered World War II in June 1940, Amelia, thanks to visas arranged by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt herself, fled to New York City with the remaining members of her family.

Renowned historian Caroline Moorehead paints an indelible picture of Italy in the first half of the twentieth century, offering an intimate account of the rise of Il Duce and his squaddristi; life in Mussolini's penal colonies; the shocking ambivalence and complicity of many prominent Italian families seduced by Mussolini's promises; and the bold, fractured resistance movement whose associates sacrificed their lives to fight fascism. In A Bold and Dangerous Family, Moorehead once again pays tribute to heroes who fought to uphold our humanity during one of history's darkest chapters.

A Bold and Dangerous Family is illustrated with black-and-white photographs.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 161 x 235 x 38mm | 658g
  • Harper
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0062308300
  • 9780062308306

Review quote

"Moorehead recounts a story that deserves to be better known, exploiting her remarkable understanding of the nation and its culture."--Max Hastings, Sunday Times (London)
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Back cover copy

Mussolini was not only ruthless; he was subtle and manipulative. Black-shirted thugs did his dirty work for him: arson, murder, destruction of homes and offices, bribery, and intimidation. His opponents--including editors, publishers, union representatives, lawyers, and judges--were beaten into submission. But the tide turned in 1924, when his henchmen went too far; horror spread across Italy, and twenty years of struggle began. Anti-fascist resistance was born and it would end only with Mussolini's death in 1945. Among those whose disgust hardened into bold and uncompromising resistance was a family from Florence: Amelia, Carlo, and Nello Rosselli.

In A Bold and Dangerous Family, Caroline Moorehead draws on letters and diaries never previously translated into English to reveal, in all their intimacy, a family driven by loyalty, duty, and courage, yet susceptible to all the self-doubt and fear to which humans are prey. Readers will be drawn into the lives of this remarkable family--and their loves, their loyalties, and their ultimate sacrifice.
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Rating details

74 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 27% (20)
4 38% (28)
3 22% (16)
2 12% (9)
1 1% (1)
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