Mussolini's Shadow: The Double Life of Count Galeazzo Ciano

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Yale University Press, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 302 pages
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Married to Benito Mussolini’s favorite daughter Edda, young Count Galeazzo Ciano (1903-1944) became il Duce’s confidant, emissary, and heir apparent in the years preceding World War II. Appointed foreign minister in 1936, Ciano played a central role in the Axis partnership negotiations with Hitler and von Ribbentrop and masterminded Italy’s invasions of Albania and Greece. But Ciano came to disagree with his father-in-law over Italy’s partnership with Germany, and he joined with other dissident Fascists plotting to remove Mussolini from office. Ciano was found guilty of treason, and despite desperate attempts to trade his sensational diaries for his life, he was shot. This is the first biography of Ciano in English, and it is based in part on those diaries, smuggled by Edda out of the country in her own dramatic escape. Mussolini’s Shadow peels away much of the mystery of the Fascist era, provides an eye-opening account of the ruling figures of Germany and Italy, and offers a close-up view of the daily workings of Mussolini’s regime. Count Ciano’s story is that of a highly intelligent man-but one also frivolous, arrogant, and overbearing-whose short life was characterized by espionage, intrigue, sexual scandal, assassination, and the abuse of power. As a leading player in Italy’s alliance with Germany, Ciano gambled with his own fate and with the fate of his country.
 

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Contents

Galeazzo and Edda
1
Diplomat to Bomber Pilot
14
Europes Youngest Foreign Minister
21
Ciano and the Germans
36
War in Albania
50
An Open Marriage
57
The Pact of Steel
64
The Invasion of Poland
72
The Most Hated Man in Italy
128
Plotting Against the Duce
140
Into the Cage of the Beasts
155
Collapse of Mussolinis Regime
168
Escape to Germany
176
Treason
196
In Pursuit of the Ciano Diary
239
Epilogue
257

The Break with Mussolini
86
Italy Enters the War
103
the Attack on Greece
113
Notes
266
Bibliography
279
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About the author (1999)

RAY MOSELEY is Director of the Medical Humanities Program, University of Florida College of Medicine.

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