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A Bold and Dangerous Family

The Remarkable Story of an Italian Mother, Her Sons, and Their Fight Against Fascism
Written by: Caroline Moorehead
Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 14 hrs and 25 mins
Categories: History, Europe

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of A Train in Winter, the story of the Rosselli family, whose courage standing up to Mussolini's fascism helped define the path of Italy in the years between the World Wars.

"I had a house: they destroyed it. I had a newspaper: they closed it. I had a university chair: I was forced to abandon it. I had - as I still do - dreams, dignity, ideals: to defend them I was sent to prison. I had teachers: they murdered them." (Carlo Rosselli on Italy's fascist regime)

Italy's Rosselli family were members of the cosmopolitan, cultural elite in Florence at the start of the 20th century. Led by their fierce matriarch, Amelia Rosselli, they were also vocal antifascists. As Mussolini rose to power in Italy following WWI, the Rossellis took leading roles in the rebellion against him, a stance that few in their class would risk. And when Mussolini established a police state whose tactics grew more brutal, the Rossellis and their antifascist friends transformed from debaters and critics into activists.

As punishment for their participation in revolutionary activities, the Rossellis' homestead was ransacked, one after another of their number was imprisoned, others in the family fled the country to escape a similar fate, and two were eventually assassinated on the orders of Mussolini's government. After the outbreak of WWII, Amelia fled with the remaining members of the Rosselli family to New York City. Their visas were arranged by Eleanor Roosevelt herself.

Through the stories of these brave people and their friends, renowned historian Caroline Moorehead delivers an immersive picture of Italy in the first half of the 20th century. She reveals the rise and fall of Mussolini and his black-shirted Squadristi; the ambivalence of many prominent Italian families to Mussolini and their seduction by his promises; and the bold, fractured antifascist movement, so many of whose members died at Mussolini's hands. Continuing The Resistance Quartet she began with A Train in Winter and continued with Village of Secrets, Moorehead once again shows us the faces of those who helped the world hold on to its humanity at a time when it seemed all might be lost.

©2017 Caroline Moorehead (P)2017 Penguin Random House Canada

What the critics say

" A Bold and Dangerous Family is a haunting reminder of the fragility of liberty and the dangers of complaisance." ( The Times)
"Expertly alternating vivid domestic detail with lucid exposition of the gradual evolution of totalitarianism, Caroline Moorehead allows her readers not only to know, but also to feel, how it was to endure fascist oppression.... A Bold and Dangerous Family is animated by the evident admiration and affection [Moorehead] feels for her subjects. It feels like the book she was born to write." (Lucy Hughes-Hallett, author of The Pike, The Guardian)

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