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Mussolini's National Project in Argentina
978-1-61147-576-0 • Hardback
August 2012 • $75.00 • (£44.95)
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978-1-61147-577-7 • eBook
August 2012 • $74.99 • (£44.95)

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Pages: 220
Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
By David Aliano
Series: The Fairleigh Dickinson University Press Series in Italian Studies
History | Europe / Italy
University Press Copublishing Division | Fairleigh Dickinson
During the 1920s and 1930s, Mussolini’s fascist regime attempted to promote fascist Italy’s national project in Argentina, bombarding the republic with its propaganda. Although politically a failure, this propaganda provoked a debate over the idea of a national identity outside the nation-state and the potential roles that citizens living abroad could play in their country of origin. In propagating an Italian national identity within another sovereign state, Mussolini’s initiative also inspired heated debate among native Argentines over their own national project as a nation of immigrants. Using the experiences of Mussolini’s efforts in Argentina as its case study, this book demonstrates how national projects take on different meanings once they enter a contested public space. It details how both members of the Italian community as well as native Argentines reshaped Italy’s national discourse from abroad by entangling it with Argentina’s own national project. In exploring the way in which nations are imagined, constructed, and recast both from above as well as from below, Mussolini’s National Project in Argentina offers new perspectives on the politics of identity formation while providing a transatlantic example of the dynamic interplay between the Italian state and its emigrant communities. It is in short, a transnational perspective on what it means to belong to a nation.

David Aliano is assistant professor of History and Modern Languages and Literatures at the College of Mount Saint Vincent.
A National Project outside of the Nation

Fascist Italy Looks Abroad

The ‘New Italy’ in Argentina

An Italian National Identity in Argentina

The Nation Abroad Responds

Italian Identity in Argentina’s National Debate



This is a thoughtful analysis of fascist Italy's project to promote the political and ideological construction of transnational Italian nationhood among Italian immigrants in Argentina. The author draws effectively on government archival material in Italy and Argentina, as well as on newspaper and other sources. ... This book excels in illustrating Italian fascist policy making and propaganda, the links between Mussolini's national project and both pro- and anti-fascist political and institutional responses in Argentina, and the Argentine government responses in the 1930s. ... Aliano explains masterfully how Italian authorities and their collaborators conceived of transatlantic nationhood, as well as the nimble adaptation and re-adaptation of their goals and actions over time to meet local political circumstances.
Caribbean and Latin America

Mussolini’s National Project in Argentina adds to the rich scholarship on Italian migration and reflects the growing interest in the overseas activities of Italy’s fascist regime. In investigating how Mussolini’s emissaries sought to control the national consciousness of Italian emigrants in Argentina, David Aliano makes several original contributions. Most notable is his willingness to move beyond the regime’s own efforts and analyse the emigrants’ reception of fascist propaganda. ... Aliano’s exploration of the Italo-Argentine response is thoughtful and nuanced.
European History Quarterly