A Bold and Dangerous Family
The acclaimed author of A Train in Winter and Village of Secrets delivers the next chapter in "The Resistance Quartet": the astonishing story of the aristocratic Italian family who stood up to Mussolini's fascism, and whose efforts helped define the path of Italy in the years between the World Wars—a profile in courage that remains relevant today.Members of the cosmopolitan, cultural aristocracy of Florence at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Rosselli family, led by their fierce matriarch, Amelia, were vocal anti-fascists. As populist, right-wing nationalism swept across Europe after World War I, and Italy’s Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini, began consolidating his power, Amelia’s sons Carlo and Nello led the opposition, taking a public stand against Il Duce that few others in their elite class dared risk. When Mussolini established a terrifying and brutal police state controlled by his Blackshirts—the squaddristi—the Rossellis and their anti-fascist circle were transformed into active resisters.In retaliation, many of the anti-fascists were arrested and imprisoned; others left the country to escape a similar fate. Tragically, Carlo and Nello were eventually assassinated by Mussolini’s secret service. After Italy entered World War II in June 1940, Amelia, thanks to visas arranged by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt herself, fled to New York City with the remaining members of her family.Renowned historian Caroline Moorehead paints an indelible picture of Italy in the first half of the twentieth century, offering an intimate account of the rise of Il Duce and his squaddristi; life in Mussolini’s penal colonies; the shocking ambivalence and complicity of many prominent Italian families seduced by Mussolini’s promises; and the bold, fractured resistance movement whose associates sacrificed their lives to fight fascism. In A Bold and Dangerous Family, Moorehead once again pays tribute to heroes who fought to uphold our humanity during one of history’s darkest chapters.A Bold and Dangerous Family is illustrated with black-and-white photographs.

A Bold and Dangerous Family Details

TitleA Bold and Dangerous Family
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherHarper
Rating
GenreNonfiction, History, Biography, Cultural, Italy, World War II, Holocaust, Politics

A Bold and Dangerous Family Review

  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    If I began this review by stating that this is a thoroughly well researched book, it might just become redundant. It's quite clear that no author has a finer tooth comb than Caroline Moorehead. Readers can be rest assured that the author wants her readers to walk away feeling confident that they understand the historical record being examined. Yes, I felt myself sometimes becoming impatient with some of the more miniscule details like who had a cold or who bought a wool coat in Paris etc, but ov If I began this review by stating that this is a thoroughly well researched book, it might just become redundant. It's quite clear that no author has a finer tooth comb than Caroline Moorehead. Readers can be rest assured that the author wants her readers to walk away feeling confident that they understand the historical record being examined. Yes, I felt myself sometimes becoming impatient with some of the more miniscule details like who had a cold or who bought a wool coat in Paris etc, but overall I feel that I came away with a deeper understanding of the rise of fascism in Italy and how one family fought against it. As well as how they suffered for their strong stance against Mussolini and his fascists. Recently, I watched a film in which two characters discuss what they would have done had they been living in Europe during the Holocaust. One admitted that he always considered that he wasn't brave enough and would have kept silent. When teaching "The Diary of Anne Frank " I always have that one student who reacts with "I would never have allowed this to happen!" A beautiful sentiment of course, but in reality those who protested facism/ nazism were small in number. So, what makes a family or individuals speak out? For Amelia and her sons - it went against all that they held dear regarding human rights. They weren't won over by the promises that were being made. "A Bold and Dangerous Family" isn't a book about the Holocaust though this is an Italian Jewish family, , rather, it's a look at "resistance" to new political parties and their ideology. I am very grateful to my Goodreads friend, Elyse, for making me aware that this book was available on NETGALLEY. It is important that the stories of WW2 are never forgotten. Thanks to NETGALLEY for an uncorrected proof in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Stef Smulders
    January 1, 1970
    At about one quarter of the book the author is in fact still in the introduction. Too many details slow down the story. All the shortlived magazines, ever changing meeting groups, temporary acquaintances are described in unnecessary detail. There must be better books about the fascist period. Some interesting details though: the intellectual influence of Mazzini on post Risorgimento politicians and the pre-fascist ideas AND activities of the artists of the Futurism movement. Will never look at t At about one quarter of the book the author is in fact still in the introduction. Too many details slow down the story. All the shortlived magazines, ever changing meeting groups, temporary acquaintances are described in unnecessary detail. There must be better books about the fascist period. Some interesting details though: the intellectual influence of Mazzini on post Risorgimento politicians and the pre-fascist ideas AND activities of the artists of the Futurism movement. Will never look at their work again without some repulsion.
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  • Amanda Drover-Hartwick
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and Edelweiss for allowing me to review.Caroline Moorehead uses letters, family interviews, and photographs to tell the story of the Rosselli family and their courageous actions during the first three decades of the 20th Century. Amelia, a girl who grew up in Venice, triumphed through many hardships to raise her three sons who grew up to become extremely involved in Italian politics. They I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and Edelweiss for allowing me to review.Caroline Moorehead uses letters, family interviews, and photographs to tell the story of the Rosselli family and their courageous actions during the first three decades of the 20th Century. Amelia, a girl who grew up in Venice, triumphed through many hardships to raise her three sons who grew up to become extremely involved in Italian politics. They refused to allow Mussolini and his squaddristi to deter them from standing up to fascism, which ultimately had an enormous impact on Italian history.Amelia was born in Venice January 1870. She had an extremely lonely and tough childhood. After her father's death Amelia moved to Rome with her mother when she was 15. She met her future husband Giuseppe Rosselli in Rome when she was 19. She gave birth to her son Aldo in 1895, Carlo in 1899, and her third son Sabatino (Nello) in 1900. In 1903 Amelia moved to Florence with her sons after Giuseppe and Amelia separated. She spent her time writing poems, short stories, and articles for magazines. As an extremely vigilant mother she was sometimes perceived as harsh. In 1911 Giuseppe fell ill, Amelia went to look after him until his death later that year.There was incredible political tension in Florence at this time. Amelia became extremely involved with fighting for women's rights, in particular education. In May 1915 Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary, and Amelia's son Aldo left to join the war. Sadly he died and she opened a home for children of soldiers who had no mothers and named it after her son, La Casina di Aldo. Her other sons Carlo and Nello went to war, thankfully both returned safely in 1920.Benito Mussolini took advantage of a broken Italy, created the Fascist Party in 1919, and a military unit called "The Black Shirts" to silence anti-fascists like the Rosselli brothers. Moorehead provides a detailed account of the action-reaction relationship between Mussolini and the Rosselli family over the next two decades. I had never heard of the Rosselli family before reading this book, and am grateful to have gained that knowledge.My favourite part of the book was reading about Amelia. The book started with her being the star of the story, but as her sons become more involved with politics her thoughts and actions become less visible. This book is obviously well-researched, and it should have interested someone with a minor in history, but I was often bored and feel like it would have been better if useless information was omitted. I debated not finishing this book, which is something I don't do very often (there are only maybe 2 or 3 books that I started and haven't finished). It was the title that drew my attention and made me think this would be an exciting historical account of a "dangerous" family, but in actuality it's extremely dry and academic.That being said, I do feel like there are many readers who would love to learn more about the Rosselli family and their impact on Italian history. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy WWI and WWII history, especially if you're interested in learning more about Italian political history during that time period.For more book reviews check out my blog: https://amandadroverhartwick.wordpres...
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