Translated from Belgian weekly Humo, 2 December 2019:
Benito Mussolini, godfather of modern populists:
Sigh … When will journalists stop abusing the word ‘populist’ for neo-fascists?
“Adolf Hitler adored him”
“M.” is a three-part novel about the life and works of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. The first part, about how fascism came into existence exactly one hundred years ago and took barely five years to gain power, has just been released in Dutch. The 850 pages read like a machine gun and are just as burningly topical as an asylum seekers’ center that is on fire. “We have to compare right-wing populism today with fascism, because there are important similarities“, says author Antonio Scurati (50). Fortunately, there are also differences.
Antonio Scurati’s book is called “M. – The son of the century“. He has won the Premio Strega, Italy’s most prestigious literature prize, and more than one hundred thousand copies have since been sold. That’s a lot, because Italians prefer to watch “Gomorra” or “Il commissario Montalbano” than to read the books on which those TV series are based. The translation rights of “M.” have already been sold to forty countries. According to the author, there is only one possible explanation for this: “Because Mussolini is the archetype, the original with which almost every right-wing populist leader today can be compared.”
United States Americans will also be able to get to know his epic version of Il Duce. Scurati, besides being a writer also a professor at the IULM University in Milan, laughs sourly: “My book will only appear after the 2020 presidential election, because publisher HarperCollins wants to prevent parallels from being drawn between Mussolini and Trump during the election campaign.”
Translated from Dutch weekly De Groene:
And, really happened: on May 4, [Italian far-right politician] Salvini stood on the balcony of the town of Forlì, constructed by Mussolini, to face a small crowd in the pouring rain. In Piazza Saffi, a paragon of fascist architecture, where four resistance fighters, including a girl [Iris Versari], were hung on August 18, 1944 to show the crowd what happened to resistance fighters. Salvini looked out at the memorial plaque.