From the bestselling author of A Train in Winter, the story of the Rosselli family, whose courage standing up to Mussolini's fascism helped define the path of Italy in the years between the World Wars. "I had a house: they destroyed it. I had a newspaper: they closed it. I had a university chair: I was forced to abandon it. I had—as I still do—dreams, dignity, ideals: to defend them I was sent to prison. I had teachers: they murdered them." —Carlo Rosselli on Italy's fascist regime Italy's Rosselli family were members of the cosmopolitan, cultural elite in Florence at the start of the twentieth century. Led by their fierce matriarch, Amelia Rosselli, they were also vocal anti-fascists. As Mussolini rose to power in Italy following WWI, the Rossellis took leading roles in the rebellion against him, a stance that few in their class would risk. And when Mussolini established a police state whose tactics grew more brutal, the Rossellis and their anti-fascist friends transformed from debaters and critics into activists. As punishment for their participation in revolutionary activities, the Rossellis' homestead was ransacked, one after another of their number was imprisoned, others in the family fled the country to escape a similar fate, and two were eventually assassinated on the orders of Mussolini's government. After the outbreak of WWII, Amelia fled with the remaining members of the Rosselli family to New York City. Their visas were arranged by Eleanor Roosevelt herself. Through the stories of these brave people and their friends, renowned historian Caroline Moorehead delivers an immersive picture of Italy in the first half of the twentieth century. She reveals the rise and fall of Mussolini and his black-shirted Squadristi; the ambivalence of many prominent Italian families to Mussolini and their seduction by his promises; and the bold, fractured anti-fascist movement, so many of whose members died at Mussolini's hands. Continuing "The Resistance Quartet" she began with A Train in Winter and continued with Village of Secrets, Moorehead once again shows us the faces of those who helped the world hold on to its humanity at a time when it seemed all might be lost.
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