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Peace and war

A Chill in the Air is less action packed but more thoughtful. It covers just two years, 1939 and 1940, and captures the politics and the atmospherics from the plazas to the palazzos

Peace and war

A Chill in the Air An Italian War Diary 1939-1940   Iris Origo  Pushkin Press 192 pages; Rs 399 History has relegated Benito Mussolini to the role of the junior partner in the Axis coalition of World War II, a caricature dictator whose Fascist creed Adolf Hitler moulded and expanded into a sinister dogma and who bailed his inept armies out in North Africa and Greece. One consequence of this received imagery has been that we have far fewer books on the Italian dictator or accounts of life under his 22-year-rule — nearly twice as long as ...