For Italian intellectuals, the terms fascist and antifascist continue to be the hard currency of contemporary political debate-to the point that if you are not one, you must be the other. When professor Renzo de Felice suggests that fascism describes a moment in the Italian past-and only that-he is challenging the very heart of current orthodoxy. The nature of his analysis of the recent Italian past is itself at odds with the traditional version, and represents a radical departure from conventional wisdom. De Felice's ideas about fascism have a broad signifi cance, quite apart from their importance in the contemporary Italian scene. Perhaps no one knows as much about fascism, and no one has given the subject such a rigorous historical analysis.
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