Ruth Ben-Ghiat is an award-winning historian, author, and political commentator on fascism, authoritarian leadership, propaganda, and threats to democracy past and present.
April 21, 2019
If you ask the average American to name ten things from World War II, Benito Mussolini won’t often make the list. But “Il Duce” seized power long before Hitler, spent more than two decades reshaping Italy in his image, and coined that “Fascist” term we all yell these days. Isn’t it strange that we never focus on Mussolini when we hearken back to WW2? Could he be a useful historical touchstone for understanding the present day? And did you know modern Italy is so steeped in Mussolini, its rising political stars CELEBRATE his brutal genocidal legacy?
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by historian & scholar Ruth Ben-Ghiat and by comedian & podcaster Adam Tod Brown. They’re taking a timely look at the most ignored fascist government of all time. They’ll debunk common myths about Mussolini’s train-centric reign. They’ll reveal the shockingly brazen Mussolini acolytes in modern Italian politics, supported by Fascism’s soccer subculture and normalized legacy. Also stick around for the shocking parallels between 2010s world leaders and Mussolini’s 1920s quest to Make Italy Great Again.