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Grant number like: FA-50158-04

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Ruth Ben-Ghiat
New York University (New York, NY 10012-1019)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2004 – 12/31/2004

Italian Fascist Prisoners of War and the Transition from Dictatorship to Democracy

My book explores the legacies of Italy's World War Two defeat and the transition from dictatorship to democracy through the experiences of Italian prisoners of war. I focus on the 700,000 Italian military captives in Nazi hands, but also make reference to Italians held by France, Russia, Yugoslavia, and the Allies as well. My examination of this mass captivity and return places the Italian war and postwar experience in a larger frame of continental conflict and reconstruction, but also illuminates the specific constraints and challenges faced by the Italian state and its new mass parties in the transition years. It offers a window on attempts at the national and local level to reestablish community life and a sense of national pride and civic trust after years of dictatorship and war.