Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Rise and Fall or Armed America

My Rise and Fall

Author: Benito Mussolini

Here for the first time in one volume, are two rare autobiographical works by Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), founder of Fascism and Italian dictator for 21 years. The first volume (published in English in 1928 as My Autobiography) describes in the Duce's own inimitable voice his youth, years as an agitator and journalist, experiences in World War I (including his severe wounding), the formation and revolutionary struggles of the Fascist Party, the March on Rome, and his early years in power. The second volume (published in English in 1948 as The Fall of Mussolini) was written during the brief period between his rescue by the Germans in September 1943 and his execution by Italian partisans in April 1945. The Duce retreats to the safe (but psychologically revealing) distance of the third person in describing his last year in power and the coup d'etat that deposed him. My Rise and Fall allows readers to view the dictator from two unique vantage points: Il Duce, eyes on the horizon, chin thrust forward, as he nears his political zenith; and Mussolini at his nadir, a desperate, powerless, sawdust Caesar, soon to be shot and hanged, head down, for all to scorn.

NY Times Book Review

[A work] of extraordinary interest and importance.

NY Times Book Review

[A work] of extraordinary interest and importance.

New interesting book: Gods Long Summer or Financial Institutions Markets and Money 10e

Armed America: The Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie

Author: Clayton E Cramer

In this true story of our nation's love affair with firearms, Clayton E. Cramer debunks the myths and takes readers along a winding historical trail full of surprising revelations and riveting anecdotes, explaining the roots of America's gun culture.

Publishers Weekly

Cramer, an adjunct lecturer in history at Boise State University and George Fox University, took on Michael Bellesiles even before his book Arming America was discredited, and now goes further to prove wrong Bellesiles's claim that guns were uncommon in early America. Cramer finds that guns "were the norm" in that period, people relied on guns to hunt, and gun ownership was key to the success of colonial militias. His most intriguing argument is that, as they became "tied to defending political rights," guns also became a symbol of citizenship. Cramer draws on many primary sources, from newspaper accounts to probate records, and compiles impressive data supporting his case. Still, he misses many opportunities for analysis and interpretation. For example, he finds that it was "not terribly unusual" for free women to own guns, but offers no nuanced discussion of what said gun ownership tells us about gender roles. His attack on academia-which, in Cramer's view, has been blinded by ideology and excludes political conservatives-distracts from his central theme and will only alienate pro-gun-control readers, leaving him with an equally narrow, if opposite, readership. (Feb. 6) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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