Margherita Sarfatti and the invention of the Duce
in The cult of the Duce
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This chapter examines how, by presenting an image of the leader imbued with mythical culture, Margherita Sarfatti attempted to define the notions of the state, the leader and his relationship with the people. Sarfatti presented a variety of descriptions of Mussolini, which were intended to locate his image both in the popular imagination and in the notion of race and lineage which the Duce was meant to encapsulate. Sarfatti's contribution to the presentation of Mussolini as a myth was born from her perceived need to construct his image as that of a charismatic leader. The image of Mussolini as Homo Romanus was elaborated within a multiple discourse. One distinctive quality that Sarfatti uses to indicate Mussolini's capacity as a leader able to unite the Italian people across class divisions is that of the 'aristocratico plebeo'.

The cult of the Duce

Mussolini and the Italians

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