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Sixth & I

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David Kertzer

Feb 3, 2014 • 7:00 pm ET
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Based on seven years of research in the Vatican and Fascist archives, The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe tells the story of two men who came to power in 1922, and together changed the course of twentieth-century history.

In most respects, they could not have been more different, yet Pius XI and “Il Duce” had many things in common. They shared a distrust of democracy and a hatred of Communism. In a challenge to the conventional history of this period, Kertzer shows how Pius XI played a crucial role in making Mussolini’s dictatorship possible and keeping him in power. In exchange for Vatican support, Mussolini restored many of the privileges the Church had lost and gave in to the pope’s demands that the police enforce Catholic morality

With the recent opening of the Vatican archives covering Pius XI’s papacy, the full story of the Pope’s complex relationship with his Fascist partner can finally be told. Kertzer, a National Book Award finalist, is a professor of Social Science, Anthropology and Italian Studies at Brown University.

More Info: Author's Website, Twitter