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Mass Culture and Italian Society from Fascism to the Cold War

Mass Culture and Italian Society from Fascism to the Cold War (Paperback)

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The 1930s to the 1950s in Italy witnessed large increases in film-going, radio-listening, and the sale of music and weekly magazines. The industries that made and sold commercial, cultural products were transformed by the new technologies of reproduction and new approaches to marketing and distribution.

Yet historians tend to place the "real" genesis of mass culture in the 1960s, or to generalize about the harnessing of mass culture to the Fascist political project, without considering what kind of mass culture existed at the time and whether this harnessing was successful. This book draws on extensive new evidence, including oral histories and archival material, to explore possible continuities between the uses of mass culture before and after World War II.

David Forgacs is Professor of Italian at University of London. His research interests are in the cultural history of modern Italy and history of the media. He is author of Rome Open City and L'industrializzazione della cultura italiana (1800-2000) and editor with Robert Lumley of Italian Cultural Studies: An Introduction and with Sarah Lutton and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith of Roberto Ruossellini: Magician of the Real. He is currently Research Professor at the British School at Rome working on a three-year project (2006-2009) on language, space, and power in Italy since Unification. Stephen Gundle is Professor of Film and Television Studies at Warwick University. His research interests are in modern Italian cultural and poltiical history. He is author of Between Hollywood and Moscow: The Italian Communists and the Challenge of Mass Culture, 1943-1991 and Bellissima: Feminine Beauty and the Idea of Italy, and editor with Simon Parker of The New Italian Republic and, with Lucia Rinaldi, of Assassinations and Murder in Modern Italy. He is currently directing a large-scale collaborative project on "The Cult of the Duce: Mussolini and the Italianns, 1918-2005."

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