John Foot

John Foot’s history of Italian fascism, Blood and Power, was published in paperback in June.

When Mussolini​ took power after the March on Rome in October 1922, few thought he would hold office for long. Giovanni Amendola, a Liberal deputy first elected in 1919, failed to oppose the confidence vote on the new government. King Victor Emmanuel III had capitulated to the fascists, but Amendola had faith in Italy’s constitution and the strength of its democratic institutions....

In May​ 1937, troops under Italian command moved into the remote area around the monastery of Debre Libanos in Ethiopia. They had been sent there by Rodolfo Graziani, one of the commanders of the Italian invasion of the country in October 1935 and now the viceroy of Italian East Africa. In February 1937 he had survived an assassination attempt in Addis Ababa. In retaliation, the Italians...

From The Blog
12 January 2022

The Colston Four admitted fully to their role in toppling the statue but pleaded not guilty to criminal damage. Their case went to a jury trial at Bristol Crown Court. The prosecution argued that the four were common criminals who had damaged property. Colston, they said, was ‘irrelevant’ to the trial. The defence, however, turned the case into a ten-day history lesson, calling the historian David Olusoga as a witness. The jury heard in detail about the horrors of slavery – the rapes, the murders, the branding, the trafficking of children – and about the statue itself: even when it was put up, nobody really wanted it. The defence argued that the statue was a ‘hate crime’. They also pointed out that the total cost of the damage caused by toppling it and dragging it along the pavement was only £3750.


Mrs Gilroy

9 September 2021

Marina Warner writes about Beryl Gilroy’s reissued memoir, Black Teacher (LRB, 9 September). In the 1970s I was a pupil at Beckford Primary School in North London when Mrs Gilroy, as we called her, was the headteacher. I remember sometimes pretending to be ill so I could be taken to her office, which was always open and welcoming. In her book she refers to me as ‘our knowledgeable grandson of a...

On the Barone

John Foot, 4 March 2021

In September​ the Uruguayan footballer Luis Suárez turned up at the Università per Stranieri in Perugia to take an Italian test. This tough language exam, a requirement for anybody seeking Italian citizenship, was introduced by Matteo Salvini, the far-right leader of the anti-immigrant Lega, when he was interior minister in 2019. Suárez passed. There were rumours that he...

Franco Basaglia regarded the asylum itself as the problem. As a logical extension of the authoritarian society that had built it, it was irredeemable, and even an improved version – a ‘golden cage’...

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