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The Divo and the Duce: Film Stardom and Political Leadership in 1920s America

book
posted on 31.01.2019 by Giorgio Bertellini
In the post–World War I American climate of isolationism, nativism, democratic expansion of civic rights, and consumerism, Italian-born star Rodolfo Valentino and Italy’s dictator Benito Mussolini became surprising paragons of authoritarian male power and mass appeal. Drawing on extensive archival research in the United States and Italy, Giorgio Bertellini’s work shows how their popularity, both political and erotic, largely depended on the efforts of public opinion managers, including publicists, journalists, and even ambassadors. Beyond the democratic celebrations of the Jazz Age, the promotion of their charismatic masculinity through spectacle and press coverage inaugurated the now-familiar convergence of popular celebrity and political authority.

Funding

University of Michigan as part of the TOME initiative

Constance and William Withey Endowment Fund in History and Music

History

Publication date

2019

ISBN (Print - Paper)

978-0-520-30136-8

ISBN (PDF)

978-0-520-97217-9

ISBN (EPUB)

978-0-520-97217-9

Imprint Name

Cinema Cultures in Contact

Publisher Name

University of California Press

Licence

Exports