Ruth Ben-Ghiat is an internationally renowned historian, speaker, and political commentator on fascism, authoritarian leaders, and propaganda. She’s Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University and Advisor to Protect Democracy.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat

INTERVIEWS & Appearances

Ruth Ben-Ghiat on UpFront
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UpFront with Medhi Hassan, Al-Jazeera

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All in with Chris Hayes, MSNBC

Ruth Ben-Ghiat on Democracy Now!
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Democracy Now!

FEATURED ESSAY

Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

Why Are So Many Fascist Monuments Still Standing in Italy?

In the late nineteen-thirties, as Benito Mussolini was preparing to host the 1942 World’s Fair, in Rome, he oversaw the construction of a new neighborhood, Esposizione Universale Roma, in the southwest of the city, to showcase Italy’s renewed imperial grandeur. The centerpiece of the district was the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, a sleek rectangular marvel with a façade of abstract arches and rows of neoclassical statues lining its base. In the end, the fair was cancelled …

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FEATURED INTERVIEWS

All in with Chris Hayes, MSNBC

“Trump is a marketing master…he’s very dangerous because he knows exactly how to communicate.”

Ashley Parker, “Two more years? Trump’s retweet sets off a furor over the idea of bonus time.” – The Washington Post

“… authoritarians are continually testing the boundaries to see what they can get away with, and everything he does is a challenge to Democrats to mount some response against him,”

FEATURED ESSAY

Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

Why Are So Many Fascist Monuments Still Standing in Italy?

In the late nineteen-thirties, as Benito Mussolini was preparing to host the 1942 World’s Fair, in Rome, he oversaw the construction of a new neighborhood, Esposizione Universale Roma, in the southwest of the city, to showcase Italy’s renewed imperial grandeur. The centerpiece of the district was the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, a sleek rectangular marvel with a façade of abstract arches and rows of neoclassical statues lining its base. In the end, the fair was cancelled because of the war, but the palazzo, known as the Square Colosseum, still stands in Rome today, its exterior engraved with a phrase from Mussolini’s speech, in 1935, announcing the invasion of Ethiopia, in which he described Italians as “a people of poets, artists, heroes, saints, thinkers, scientists, navigators, and transmigrants.” The invasion, and the bloody occupation that followed, would later lead to war-crimes charges against the Italian government. The building is, in other words, a relic of abhorrent Fascist aggression. Yet, far from being shunned, it is celebrated in Italy as a modernist icon. In 2004, the state recognized the palazzo as a site of “cultural interest.” In 2010, a partial restoration was completed, and five years later the fashion house Fendi moved its …

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FEATURED INTERVIEWS

All in with Chris Hayes, MSNBC

“Trump is a marketing master…he’s very dangerous because he knows exactly how to communicate.”

Ashley Parker, “Two more years? Trump’s retweet sets off a furor over the idea of bonus time.” – The Washington Post

“… authoritarians are continually testing the boundaries to see what they can get away with, and everything he does is a challenge to Democrats to mount some response against him,”

Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill, “Donald Trump, Fascism, and the Doctrine of American Mythology”

“These rulers, when they’re still on their way up, they weaponize their bodies and their words. Authoritarians always tell you what they’re going to do.”