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The Poet and the Dictator (cover)THE POET AND THE DICTATOR: LAURO DE BOSIS RESISTS FASCISM IN ITALY AND AMERICA tracks the rise of a gifted American Italian poet to become a fierce antagonist to Fascism and Mussolini in the 1920s. De Bosis, who played out his anti-Fascist role in Rome and New York, sacrificed his life for this cause. But he left an eloquent and potent legacy for his fellow Italians. His message remains relevant today when individual freedom and democracy are still threatened around the world.
— Greenwood, CT: Praeger, 2002
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“Jean Mudge recounts a fascinating story that partakes of both Romantic adventure and tough political resistance. She pays attention to de Bosis’s intellectual and family background as well as to his work as poet and translator. Above all, her work splendidly reconstructs, drawing on hitherto unread material, his political development from initial fascist sympathies to a growingly anti-Mussolinian position.”
— Piero Boitani, University of Rome “La Sapienza,” 2001 Lauro de Bosis Lecturer, Harvard.

“This splendid work of research and scholarship proves the fallacy of the false alternative, either fascism or communism. The life of the courageous de Bosis demonstrates the presence of a liberal alternative based not on political ideology but on Italian history and its civic humanistic traditions. The book is full of telling details and perceptive observations.”
— John Patrick Diggins, Distinguished Professor of History, Graduate Center, City University of New York

“It’s unlikely that de Bosis will find a more sympathetic or perceptive biographer. The range of research in American and Italian libraries is impressive. Mudge sheds new light on American-Italian relations in the 1920s; and she even shows an extraordinary detailed knowledge of aviation technology in the period of de Bosis's flight. I found myself muttering ‘brava’ time and again as she made her way sure-footedly through perilous areas of Italian and American history where it is all to easy to fall into error. I was struck, as others will be, by the murky straits of the anti-Fascist resistance through which de Bosis, like Ignazio Silone, had to pass. Both men came to know the ‘grey’ areas of the period that we today find so difficult to grasp and that those who come after us will find even more elusive.”
— Robert Wohl, Professor of European History, UCLA

Lauro de Bosis's Messerschmitt plane
Lauro de Bosis in his Messerschmitt, D–1783
Roll your cursor over the plane to see a close-up