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.

INTERVIEWS & Appearances

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UpFront with Medhi Hassan, Al-Jazeera

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World Mental Health Coalition, 2019

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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

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

“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.”

Ashley Parker, “’Totally Dishonest’: Trump Asserts only he can be Trusted Over Opponents and ‘Fake News’,” The Washington Post

“The widening circle of the parties that he’s accusing is predictable because I see Donald Trump as an authoritarian in the making or an authoritarian wannabe, and there’s always a transition process of this sort of leader asserting himself above all the authorities. Every authoritarian leader eventually asserts himself as the only arbiter of truth.”

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

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

“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.”

Ashley Parker, “’Totally Dishonest’: Trump Asserts only he can be Trusted Over Opponents and ‘Fake News’,” The Washington Post

“The widening circle of the parties that he’s accusing is predictable because I see Donald Trump as an authoritarian in the making or an authoritarian wannabe, and there’s always a transition process of this sort of leader asserting himself above all the authorities. Every authoritarian leader eventually asserts himself as the only arbiter of truth.”

History Hit with Dan Snow – Mussolini and his inheritors

“He [Mussolini] was the first person to turn a democracy into a dictatorship.”