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Duration: 1:02:56



00:00:02 Speaker 2

All right, very good.

00:00:04 Speaker 2

OK, welcome everyone.

00:00:05 Speaker 2

So my name is Brian J Griffiths and I will be the host of today's virtual.

00:00:10 Speaker 2

Booktalk event I am the inaugural Yujin and Jacqueline Webber, postdoctoral scholar and European history at UC Los Angeles. During the academic years 2020 to 2020.

00:00:22 Speaker 2

And this book talk is the 1st of a series of book talks that I'll be hosting in conjunction with a course that I'm currently teaching here at UCLA, which is titled Interwar Crisis Europe 1918 to 1939. So in one way or another, each of the books that fall into this series impinge upon this.

00:00:42 Speaker 2

Period of Europe.

00:00:43 Speaker 2

Street our next virtual book event will be taking place on Friday, May 2nd from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Pacific Standard Time and that one will focus on Stephen Bittners recently published monograph, whites and Reds, a history of wine in the lands of Czar and Commissar.

00:01:01 Speaker 2

Published by Oxford University Press.

00:01:03 Speaker 2

So if you'd like to see the list of.

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The remaining booktalks.

00:01:09 Speaker 2

Take a look at the book Talks Sub page on my course website which I'm going to link to here in the chat dialogue and you can find the list of the books themselves, the authors and also the registration portals for each of those remaining booktalks.

00:01:23 Speaker 2

I'd also like to acknowledge this series cosponsor, which is UCLA.

00:01:28 Speaker 2

Center for European and Russian studies. In addition to cosponsoring, this book talk series, The Center coordinates its own schedule of sponsored research presentations during UCLA's academic year.

00:01:41 Speaker 2

Pertaining to the interdisciplinary study of Europe, so to get a better idea of the kind of previous and upcoming sponsored events and talks at the center, you can take a look at their UCLA website, or you can find them on Facebook and Twitter under the handle UCLA CFE.

00:02:01 Speaker 2

So I'm going to put that.

00:02:02 Speaker 2

Handle in here you can find them on both plots.

00:02:04 Speaker 2

Forms under that username alright, so I'm going to explain a little bit about the formatting procedures for this meeting now, so I'm going to begin by providing an introduction for days for today's speaker who is of course Dr Dominique Kirchherr Real, which will be followed by about a 30 minute or so presentation on her recently published book.

00:02:24 Speaker 2

Which of course is the subject of this meeting. The Fumc crisis after Doctor Rios presentation will make some time for Q&A during during the remaining half an hour or so.

00:02:33 Speaker 2

So if you're joining us here on Zoom, please feel free to use the chat dialogue to submit your questions or comments.

00:02:41 Speaker 2

I will be taking them in the order in which they're submitted.

00:02:44 Speaker 2

Their following dominiques presentation.

00:02:46 Speaker 2

If you submit your entire question just kind of pre written out in the chat dialog, I will take that as your desire.

00:02:53 Speaker 2

For me to read it for you, so I'll I'll read it out loud on your behalf.

00:02:57 Speaker 2

However, if you would rather turn on your video and your your camera and your microphone and ask your question yourself, please, just indicate your desire to do so in the chat dialog, and I'll call in.

00:03:08 Speaker 2

You know, in the proper order, if you're joining us on Facebook, Live right now or on Twitter.

00:03:15 Speaker 2

So if you haven't registered for this event, but you're nonetheless watching the live stream of this event, you can use the chat dialogues.

00:03:22 Speaker 2

The comment or reply dialogues on those two platforms, and I'll do my very best with my three monitor setup here too.

00:03:29 Speaker 2

To monitor your activity and near the end, if there's time, I'll bring in some of those questions as well.

00:03:35 Speaker 2

Alright, so finally as a courtesy to our speaker and to the other attendees, I'd like to kindly request that you mute your microphones for the time being until it's your turn to speak.

00:03:47 Speaker 2

All right.

00:03:48 Speaker 2

We've been about a year into the pandemic and into zoom events by this time, so I think most of us have a pretty good handle on on zoom etiquette.

00:03:56 Speaker 2

OK, so I'd like to introduce today's speaker, who of course is Doctor Dominique Kirchner Rail, so Doctor Real is a social, cultural and intellectual historian of southern Europe with a special emphasis on the lands of water today.

00:04:10 Speaker 2

Today's Italy and Croatia.

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Dominique earned her.

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Doctorate in modern European history at Columbia University in 2007 and shortly thereafter served as a visiting professor at New York University's Center for European and Mediterranean Studies.

00:04:25 Speaker 2

Doctor Rael is currently an associate professor of modern European history at University of Miami.

00:04:31 Speaker 2

So Dominique has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants, awards and various professional honors, including, but by no means limited to.

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I've just kind of cherry picked from the very long list on her CV.

00:04:44 Speaker 2

A Fulbright Hays doctoral Dissertation research fellowship. In 2003, 2004, a Rome Prize in modern Italian studies at the American Academy in Rome, 2012 to 2013. An American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship in East European Studies in 2013, and most recently she served as a visiting research.

00:05:05 Speaker 2

Fellow at the European University Institute in Fiasella, Italy, just up the Hill from VTNZ.

00:05:12 Speaker 2

Uh, between last year and this year she just recently came back.

00:05:16 Speaker 2

Dominique Research has appeared in many prestigious journals and edited volumes, including essays in the Journal of Modern History, Memoria Every Check, a Slavic review, and California Italian studies, among many other.

00:05:32 Speaker 2

Journals and publications.

00:05:34 Speaker 2

Doctor Ray is also the author of two published monographs, including her first monograph, nationalists, who feared the nation Adriatic Multi nationalism in Habsburg, Dalmatia through the estate and Venice published by Stanford University Press in 2012 and the subject of today's meeting the Fiume Crisis. Life in the wake of the Habsburg.

00:05:55 Speaker 2

Empire published by Harvard University Press in 2020. If you haven't already purchased a copy.

00:06:02 Speaker 2

Of this book you can do so by the following your own, which is provided by Harvard University Press and is offering a 20% discount on your purchase if you use this particular this particular portal.

00:06:17 Speaker 2

There it is alright.

00:06:19 Speaker 2

Dominiques current book Length Research project folks.

00:06:22 Speaker 2

Says on the life and career of the quote unquote Habsburg mayor of New York City as she refers to him and that of course, was.

00:06:30 Speaker 2

Field a little LaGuardia.

00:06:32 Speaker 2

So perhaps maybe if there's time at the very end we can work in a an Adriatic reference, perhaps to the new book project.

00:06:39 Speaker 2

So without further ado, please join me in welcoming Doctor Dominique.

00:06:42 Speaker 2

Kirchherr real.

00:06:45 Speaker 7

Yeah, it's always so fun to hear these introductions.

00:06:48 Speaker 7

I always feel like I, I sound much more important than I am, UM.

00:06:54 Speaker 1

I, I'm sure many people know that being invited to UCLA is a big deal for me.

00:06:59 Speaker 1

My father is I.

00:07:01 Speaker 1

I think that there could be few people that love UCLA more than my father, so I I just kept on thinking how happy he would be and how hard his question would be after my talk.

00:07:12 Speaker 1

He would raise his hand immediately. But anyways, UCLA's you know family institution much love and it's really exciting to talk about this book that I worked so hard an in a world that basically formed me. I think that I spent a large chunk of my childhood making weird coffee in his office while he was teaching and we didn't have any daycare. So anyways, just to say.

00:07:33 Speaker 1

So fun to be.

00:07:34 Speaker 1

At least even just virtually at you.

00:07:36 Speaker 1

Yeah, like I'm just going to give a kind of a map of what this book tried to do and and how, just a little teaser of what it what's inside. But I think the only reason to do all these meetings is to have the Q&A. So I'm going to try and be fast and in no way pretend that I'm.

00:07:57 Speaker 1

Answering all the questions I'd like, I'd like to talk more about what people are specifically interested in.

00:08:01 Speaker 1

The book is called the Fiume Crisis.

00:08:03 Speaker 1

Like in the wake of the Habsburg Empire.

00:08:05 Speaker 1

But actually the title should be reversed.

00:08:08 Speaker 1

The book is really about life in the wake of the Habsburg Empire using the Fiume crisis as a vehicle to telling it, and for those of you who don't know where Fiume Rijeka is, it's here right here.

00:08:20 Speaker 1

So there's Venice.

00:08:22 Speaker 1

There's TSJ, it's here.

00:08:23 Speaker 1

It's it's in today's creation now.

00:08:26 Speaker 1

Most people, if you're a modern European.

00:08:28 Speaker 1

He probably heard the word fuming, but if you're not and it's OK, we like you guys too.

00:08:34 Speaker 1

You've probably never heard of it, and that's OK.

00:08:36 Speaker 1

I mean, it's not a very important place, it's it's the Today.

00:08:40 Speaker 1

It's the third largest city in the Republic of Croatia.

00:08:42 Speaker 1

Republic, Croatia is a very small country and you May is, is ever is ever diminishing in in its in its size.

00:08:51 Speaker 1

So it's not a place that's gaining an importance.

00:08:53 Speaker 1

It's a place that's struggling like so many, uh, rustbelt cities are.

00:09:01 Speaker 1

So you probably don't know about Fiume.

00:09:04 Speaker 1

Because of this, the city itself.

00:09:06 Speaker 1

Uhm, it is in the the northeasternmost Asiatic port.

00:09:11 Speaker 1

It is a it is a new city though.

00:09:16 Speaker 1

You know you can find a Roman arch here and there.

00:09:18 Speaker 1

Most of the city was built in the 19th century.

00:09:21 Speaker 1

So it's a.

00:09:21 Speaker 1

It's a very different city than most European.

00:09:24 Speaker 1

Cities it is known in Italian as Fiume, which means River.

00:09:28 Speaker 1

It's known in creation as Lyekka, which means River.

00:09:31 Speaker 1

This is the River.

00:09:32 Speaker 1

This River is not an important River.

00:09:33 Speaker 1

There is no.

00:09:33 Speaker 1

00:09:35 Speaker 1

It's actual name is Little River.

00:09:37 Speaker 1

And the reason why a town that is only actually important because of its Adriatic trade, right?

00:09:43 Speaker 1

So it's C trade.

00:09:44 Speaker 1

Is called River is because this Little River has served over centuries from from the Romans to two and not today, but until the 90s, no until 1947. It served as an administrative.

00:10:00 Speaker 1


00:10:01 Speaker 1

Uh, so a very easy to Traverse River that was in no way a geographical boundary was used as an administrative boundary for centuries.

00:10:11 Speaker 1

We initially in the Roman Empire, then by churches and where diocese were or Bishop priests were.

00:10:19 Speaker 1

And then in terms of tax laws, the reason why Fiume becomes an important story in the 19th century, and especially after World War One, which is the topic of my book after World War One, 1918 to 1921 is because they basically create a little Hong Kong of the.

00:10:37 Speaker 1

Matic, which is humid.

00:10:39 Speaker 1

It's a semi independent city state under the Hungarian Kingdom within the Habsburg Monarchy.

00:10:46 Speaker 1

Let me just think of how many different layers upon layers of this is.

00:10:49 Speaker 1

It's basically a haven city of global finance and participating.

00:10:58 Speaker 3

In it.

00:10:58 Speaker 1

And the boom of the Mediterranean thanks to the Suez Canal and thanks to steamships, being faster than ever and thanks immigration and thanks to lots of things.

00:11:08 Speaker 1

It is a late 19th early 20th century city where.

00:11:12 Speaker 1

Over 60% of its population moved to the city in the 20 years before World War One, so it's really not. You need to get out of your head what most of us assume from European towns that they had this very strong localism that they have. You know that you know, kind of like the knickerbockers thing in New York where no one is a real.

00:11:32 Speaker 1

Feel me endlessly lived there for three generations.

00:11:35 Speaker 1

That's not what this town is.

00:11:36 Speaker 1

Before the war, it's a it's a.

00:11:38 Speaker 1

It's a Hungarian controlled Boomtown Hong Kong on the Adriatic.

00:11:44 Speaker 1

And the reason why I call it Fiume instead of Vijaka is because I'm just talking mostly about that story about that strange bubble place that actually becomes the smallest successor state of Europe after World War One, it becomes its own country.

00:12:00 Speaker 1

The town as a whole today includes both sides of the River Sovietica includes this area which was at the time of World War One.

00:12:09 Speaker 1

Croatian controlled and it was called that town was called Sushi.

00:12:13 Speaker 1

Back in this part of the town, which is, you know, the Fiume I'm talking about today.

00:12:18 Speaker 1

It's one city, and it's known as the X, so I'm just talking the Fiume crisis is not the eco crisis.

00:12:24 Speaker 1

It's about this strange.

00:12:26 Speaker 1

What do you do with Hong Kong on the Adriatic?

00:12:29 Speaker 1

Now this is all great, and if you're a hipster historian you you might know a little bit about this.

00:12:34 Speaker 1

You might not, and if you're Italian historian, you've heard about teammate, but you never actually probably know very little about this.

00:12:34 Speaker 7


00:12:34 Speaker 7

00:12:40 Speaker 1

But if you've heard Fiume at all, you probably know it.

00:12:43 Speaker 1

Because of this, you probably know it because of the Paris peace.



00:12:49 Speaker 1

At the Paris Peace Conference, the question of who's gonna get fuming?

00:12:52 Speaker 1

Whether it's going to be the Kingdom of Italy or it's going to be the newly forming Kingdom of Serbs?

00:12:58 Speaker 1

Crosson Slovenes after the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy, it becomes one of the key fights at the Paris Peace Conference and triggers the only walk.

00:13:09 Speaker 1

Out of any of the great form any of the winners, the young Tom.

00:13:12 Speaker 1

Once that happened at the Paris Peace Conference and it happened 2 weeks before the signing of the Birthsite tree. So this town in this 50,000 person town that was important was the 9th largest industrial port in continental Europe. That's important money, money matters. But it also mattered because it.

00:13:33 Speaker 1

Let alone putting a League of Nations together.

00:13:35 Speaker 1

How in the world are they going to create a?

00:13:37 Speaker 1

You know a world with.

00:13:38 Speaker 1

No more wars if they can't even sit in a room together and sign the versus.

00:13:42 Speaker 1

So that this.

00:13:43 Speaker 1

Little town of 50,000 people could put the whole thing at risk was is served and you find it in any history in a diplomatic history or international history. The Paris peace conference. You're gonna find it almost a chapter on this thing, if not alignment. So so this is known in terms of big big.

00:14:02 Speaker 1

Stories around the making of international global law and diplomacy.



00:14:08 Speaker 1

In Italian historiography and in modern European historiography, is known maybe even more because of this thing.

00:14:16 Speaker 1

Done unsealed, this bald guy here was the most famous Italian living Italian and before World War One and after World War One, he was famous, not because.

00:14:28 Speaker 1

He was born to some, you know he wasn't some Prince of Wales and he wasn't rich.

00:14:34 Speaker 1

He was framed.

00:14:34 Speaker 1

00:14:34 Speaker 1

He was famous because he was decadent.

00:14:36 Speaker 1

Poet galore.

00:14:37 Speaker 1

He was the Oscar Wilde of Italy without being gay.

00:14:42 Speaker 1

And he wrote about *** and he wrote about it with with with ugly.

00:14:47 Speaker 1

Of shocking people.

00:14:49 Speaker 1

Consistently, he also loved to live extraordinarily.

00:14:55 Speaker 1

He read Nietzsche and got me.

00:14:57 Speaker 1

She was talking to him like good and evil.

00:15:00 Speaker 1

Yeah, let's bring it.

00:15:02 Speaker 1

So before World War One, he's already a celebrity.

00:15:05 Speaker 1

He's in his 50s during the war, and he enlists he volunteers.

00:15:10 Speaker 1

He's the oldest volunteer officer in the Italian Army, and while the rest of Italy is arguing consistently about what World War One is, because it's not going very well at all and it's making the state look pretty bad.

00:15:24 Speaker 1

This guy has decided that he is going to be the living PR campaign of the Italian War.

00:15:30 Speaker 1

Effort, and while everybody else is talking about corruption and brutality and all the losses and how this is a disaster for Italy.

00:15:39 Speaker 1

He's just he's.

00:15:40 Speaker 1

Changing uniforms almost every week, one day, he's, uh, he's in the trenches.

00:15:45 Speaker 1

On the outside, the other one next day he's on a boat, then he's on a plane.

00:15:49 Speaker 1

He's a GI Joe figure of the Italian war effort and he's just so proud of it.

00:15:54 Speaker 1

And you know what?

00:15:56 Speaker 1

People are really sick of is all the depressing stories.

00:15:59 Speaker 1

So he he he becomes the the most popular Italian for people who were sick of being ashamed of their country and who didn't want to be ashamed of their war, they wanted to be proud of their war.

00:16:11 Speaker 1

And he was that he would literally want to feel some pride.

00:16:14 Speaker 1

I'm your guy.

00:16:17 Speaker 1

So during the war, he's really, really really famous, and any American who reads the newspaper has heard about this guy, so he's not just famous in Italy's famous everywhere because he's he's immediate, he's a media baby. He he knows how to play the media. He's been doing it his whole life. He pretended to die when he was a teenager to sell his first book of poems Better.

00:16:37 Speaker 1

The guy has been manipulating the media since the beginning.

00:16:41 Speaker 1

But how does he relate to Fiume and why you might ever have heard about Fiume is because he decides, along with many others, that Fumea town he had visited one town one time for less than 48 hours, and a town that most Italians had never heard of before before the end of the war decides that it is the perfect.

00:17:02 Speaker 1

Symbol of the slots lovingly ineptitude of Italy's liberal politicians and the absolutely false power of the Woodrow Wilson and the Lloyd George and the entire concept of the Paris Peace Conference, so.

00:17:22 Speaker 1

He shows up in this, you know, red convertible Fiat.

00:17:25 Speaker 1

I cannot make this up.

00:17:27 Speaker 1

Uh, with two or 300 followers walks their way to Fiume, which at this point is controlled by an Inter allied military situation. Kind of like Vienna or Berlin. after World War Two where there's American troops and British troops and French troops and Italian troops that are supposed to keep this entire territory.

00:17:47 Speaker 1

Up for grabs until the Patch.

00:17:49 Speaker 1

First, diplomats decide what to do with it.

00:17:52 Speaker 1

He just walks right through.

00:17:54 Speaker 1

He gets stopped by the head, Italian general and the general says you can't come in here.

00:18:00 Speaker 1

You know this this this is an illegal activity and he says, what are you gonna do shoot me and he doesn't Napoleon the 100 days he pulls out all of his medals.

00:18:08 Speaker 1

He says shoot me here.

00:18:10 Speaker 1

And guess what does?

00:18:11 Speaker 1

And shoot him.

00:18:12 Speaker 1

Actually the general is afraid that he might get shot by his soldiers if he shut down with you, so he walks in, takes over a town from basically the military embodiment of the Paris peace Treaty.

00:18:24 Speaker 1

Two to the sounds of church bells and ladies kissing him and Reese being thrown at him.

00:18:28 Speaker 1

No shot fired and.

00:18:31 Speaker 1

Begins this long process that lasts over 15 months of trying to force Italy to accept fuming.

00:18:38 Speaker 1

And in the end he loses.

00:18:40 Speaker 1

But it's this story of outside the state, the charismatic leader that shoot me.

00:18:47 Speaker 1

I dare you no one can stop him.

00:18:51 Speaker 1

So it's a.

00:18:51 Speaker 1

It's a great story and any any of us who teach inner war use it.

00:18:56 Speaker 1

It's hard to not use.

00:18:57 Speaker 1

It's just too fun.

00:18:58 Speaker 1

You know, undergrads get bored.

00:18:59 Speaker 1

You know you're talking about steel or whatever you're talking about, like reparations payments.

00:19:03 Speaker 1

I mean those those words just put students to sleep already.

00:19:06 Speaker 1

So Fiume is just fun, right?

00:19:07 Speaker 1

It's just crazy.

00:19:08 Speaker 1

It's a crazy story, but it's used also.

00:19:11 Speaker 1

Because it means something.

00:19:12 Speaker 1

It's not just a crazy story, it actually it.

00:19:14 Speaker 1

It has some legs.

00:19:16 Speaker 1

And the reason why it has legs is about fascism.

00:19:21 Speaker 1


00:19:24 Speaker 1

Bald guy on a balcony.

00:19:25 Speaker 1

Women kissing.

00:19:26 Speaker 1

We stone you know.

00:19:28 Speaker 1

Obviously Mussolini right?

00:19:29 Speaker 1

How can you not, but even more important, it's the Legionnaires.

00:19:33 Speaker 1

It's the.

00:19:34 Speaker 1

It's the guys that follow the guy.

00:19:36 Speaker 1

That is what.

00:19:38 Speaker 1

What has fascinated historians of fascism that are trying to see how World War One.

00:19:44 Speaker 1

Jumps into fascism so quickly or Italy 1922 so, so how how so fast after World War One did one of the winning powers become fascists, right? 'cause Italy one didn't look.

00:19:57 Speaker 1

So they look at this.

00:19:58 Speaker 1

They look at paramilitarism.

00:20:00 Speaker 1

They look at this Esprit de core of the veterans or the the the the the the current soldiers who somehow don't trust their state anymore and feel more energy.

00:20:12 Speaker 1

More political energy around around working against the state.

00:20:17 Speaker 1

Instead of working within the state and that they're the nation, not the state.

00:20:24 Speaker 1

The the other part of this that historians of fascism can't not be interested in is this idea of the liberal state and and and nationalist activism being at cross purposes right.

00:20:40 Speaker 1

That liberal state made the nation state.

00:20:43 Speaker 1

The story is.

00:20:44 Speaker 1

Supposed to be the, you know the Julie Keys and the Krispies or any of these liberal politicians are making nation states in the 19th century. So what's going on here? Is the Fiume crisis ends and in Christmas 1920 Wars at Christmastime, you know they.

00:20:59 Speaker 1

Very melodramatic is called the Christmas of Blood.

00:21:03 Speaker 1

Less than 50 people died.

00:21:04 Speaker 1

Not that much blood, but then we'll see, oh, he can't help himself.

00:21:08 Speaker 1

But it ends when the Italian state bombs the town of Fiume to force itself to stop calling itself Italian.

00:21:17 Speaker 1

So it's actually almost a pitch battle between the liberal state and nationalism.

00:21:23 Speaker 1

About what?

00:21:24 Speaker 1

Who decides what is in and out of the state in this episode?

00:21:28 Speaker 1

Today's episode of pre Fascism Fiume the Liberal State wins, but the lesson then goes immediately to thinking about the March on Rome.

00:21:38 Speaker 1

And why didn't the liberal state state win then what, how, what?

00:21:43 Speaker 1

What are the commonalities and differences of these two moments, and why did the March on Rome not fail the way the March on Fiume did so?

00:21:51 Speaker 1

I I hope that you see what's what's going on in the historiography is that that these two stories, which are three year difference and these are contemporaries, Mussolini.

00:22:00 Speaker 1

And then once they hate each other but they they are, they have the same base.

00:22:05 Speaker 1

I mean they both are the darlings of the nationalists, but they don't have the same visions.

00:22:11 Speaker 1

Mostly is a politician.

00:22:12 Speaker 1

He believes in politics.

00:22:13 Speaker 1

He believes in parties.

00:22:15 Speaker 1

He believes in government.

00:22:17 Speaker 1

Then once he believes in that, that's the end of everything right now.

00:22:20 Speaker 3


00:22:22 Speaker 1

But there, but they are actually doing similar things and Mussolini does learn from them with his example and replicates it and many of his followers.

00:22:32 Speaker 1

Then once his followers become Mussolini followers, later the other reason why this story won't go away is because of something absolutely unbelievable.

00:22:43 Speaker 1

There is nothing I know of that Italian historians and Yugoslav export excuse of historians agree on when it comes to the Adriatic.

00:22:51 Speaker 1

The one thing they do is done with steel.

00:22:54 Speaker 1

Both of them see.

00:22:55 Speaker 1

That I don't see a thing as a precursor to what Italian nationalism does in the eastern Adriatic, the the, the nationalization of eastern Adriatic communities.

00:23:09 Speaker 1

And if you ask a exodus of historian the ethnic cleansing of the Eastern Asiatic.

00:23:14 Speaker 1

So when when Dan also comes in the Fiume and everyone kissing him and throwing reefs, everyone repeating Fiume Teyana Fiume Diana.

00:23:22 Speaker 1

This is the most Italian of cities, well over half of the population does not identify itself as mother tongue.

00:23:28 Speaker 1

Italian, and in this entire period what the the cause of Puma is is Italy, even though a large chunk of its population and then all the hinterlands are are not Italian, not don't identify, explicitly refused to identify themselves as Italian.

00:23:44 Speaker 1

So even just this whole story that this is an Italian story is considered as.

00:23:49 Speaker 1

Chapter one ethnic cleansing in the Adriatic.

00:23:53 Speaker 1

This is part of and there is no history of the origins of fascism that doesn't mention Fiume and unseal it.

00:24:00 Speaker 1

I it does not exist, I I dare someone to show me a book about Italian fascism that doesn't bring up Fiume and then unseal, and it's also now entered into these global histories of of.

00:24:13 Speaker 1

The 20th century.

00:24:15 Speaker 1

Uhm, global histories have a tough time on their hands because they actually can't just be about London in Paris and Berlin in New York.

00:24:22 Speaker 1

So they actually have to include other parts of the world.

00:24:24 Speaker 1

And fume is one of the places getting included now, because it seems like it fits really really well with other big questions about paramilitarism.

00:24:34 Speaker 1

About populist nationalism.

00:24:36 Speaker 1

Without anger movements, the two most famous that have come out recently are Robert Gavits.

00:24:41 Speaker 1

The Vanquish, which talks about I love this why the First World War failed to end.

00:24:47 Speaker 1

He has an entire chapter on few man and it's really useful, you know paramilitaries.

00:24:51 Speaker 1

Right these these soldiers that that kind of they've they've been the the the, the, the manpower of the state during the war, and they don't want to give up their role and and no one can force them to.

00:25:03 Speaker 1

And then age of Empire, Pankaj Mishra.

00:25:05 Speaker 1

He's entire introduction about the history of populist, xenophobic demagoguery starts with fumc and he literally says Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and ISIS are are are legacies of this of d'annunzio and human.

00:25:24 Speaker 1

I have some problems with all of this stuff.

00:25:26 Speaker 1

First of all, again half of over half the town isn't Italian and so.

00:25:30 Speaker 1

What's going on here?

00:25:31 Speaker 1

But even more, I don't like this story because Fiume isn't really fascism to me.

00:25:37 Speaker 1

It's fun, it's the it's known as.

00:25:39 Speaker 1

The Woodstock of the Post War.

00:25:41 Speaker 1

It is a bubble states outside of states.

00:25:45 Speaker 1

Waiting for something to happen and then once you know is doing a a bread and circus kind of thing to keep his followers happy in which we got a lot of fun going on in Fiume, we've got these nudist aviator leaders and Pirates that tell Nick these incredible stories.

00:26:03 Speaker 1

We've got cocaine flowing everywhere.

00:26:06 Speaker 1

We've got the futurists coming in and doing their thing.

00:26:08 Speaker 1

We've got, you know, Toscanini comes gradient Miconi comes like it almost becomes at who's who like a Met Gala of.

00:26:19 Speaker 1

Of of of.

00:26:20 Speaker 1

Cutting edgeness and everybody is a little different.

00:26:23 Speaker 1

Some people are are anarcho, syndicalists, others are are royalists.

00:26:28 Speaker 1

Others are could care less about politics.

00:26:30 Speaker 1

You got some Socialists in there?

00:26:32 Speaker 1

We've got a bunch of he man guys we got a lot going on but the only thing that keeps everyone in there is that.

00:26:39 Speaker 1

It is that it's not liberalism, but it's also not violence.

00:26:42 Speaker 1

It's not fascism.

00:26:43 Speaker 1

Like I don't want and this is the most famous book about it.

00:26:47 Speaker 1

The festival of.

00:26:48 Speaker 1

The the the the.

00:26:50 Speaker 1

The Revolution Festival to be how we think about fascism and the origins of fascism.

00:26:55 Speaker 1

For me, the origins of fashions are about violence.

00:26:58 Speaker 1

And so why is this not a story about violence?

00:27:01 Speaker 1


00:27:01 Speaker 1

Why can't this be the origins of fascism?

00:27:04 Speaker 1

If I think fascism is about violence, well, there's not a lot of hurt in this history.

00:27:10 Speaker 1

Again, the the beginning there's no gunshots.

00:27:13 Speaker 1

This kisses and the end.

00:27:15 Speaker 1

The Christmas of Blood 50 people dead.

00:27:17 Speaker 5


00:27:17 Speaker 5

00:27:17 Speaker 3

So bad.

00:27:18 Speaker 1

What kind of Christmas blood is that after World War One?

00:27:20 Speaker 1

And and as gabbett.

00:27:22 Speaker 1

Very very rightly said, there's still war going on everywhere.

00:27:26 Speaker 1

So the fact this non war is the origins of fascism story.

00:27:30 Speaker 1

It makes it all make fascism feel nicer.

00:27:35 Speaker 1

It makes fascism feel consensual.

00:27:39 Speaker 1

So here's your question.

00:27:41 Speaker 1

If there's not a lot of violence, why isn't there a lot of violence?

00:27:44 Speaker 1

Is it because it's consensual?

00:27:46 Speaker 1

Is it because Puma is done once?

00:27:49 Speaker 1

Yeah, and then once his humor, is it because he's done on C?

00:27:52 Speaker 1

Oh, this isn't Genova, not fuming, is it because he really did brainwash everyone and they're just going to follow him?

00:27:59 Speaker 1

Is are his speeches so hypnotic that we just it's something we just don't know how to fight against, and so the Fiume story isn't violence because it's true consensus.

00:28:13 Speaker 1

Well, not, that might work if you're following the followers of Donald Seal, the guys who run away from home and jump on a few may bandwagon, but the majority of the people in this story are not those guys.

00:28:26 Speaker 1

At the beginning it's two or 300 people that follow fumc they think, and I do not believe in numbers, especially around this time, 'cause it's all propaganda. But let's just be generous. Let's assume these numbers are correct. The high point of the numbers they think is around Christmas 1919. So month two of the Fiume thing.

00:28:46 Speaker 1

Uhm, and they they think it's a couple thousand, a couple thousands a lot, but this town is 50,000 people and that's not counting the hinterlands. That's not counting that other town. That's like interdependent on it. That's just counting that that little Hong Kong of the Adriatic and of then half of them refused to identify themselves as.

00:29:05 Speaker 1

Mother tongue Italian.

00:29:06 Speaker 1

No multilingualism is common here.

00:29:09 Speaker 1

Like all Habsburg towns and we we this Habsburg myth of multilingualism.

00:29:13 Speaker 1

Not only.

00:29:14 Speaker 1

Is omnipresent, it's also kind of true, but you know we got 13% Hungarian speakers, got 26% creation speakers 5% slowly inside, but this is a real Habsburg town. Also one that during the war for those four years was fighting against Italy.

00:29:32 Speaker 1


00:29:33 Speaker 1

They got bombed by Italy.

00:29:35 Speaker 1

So having the nuncio with his speeches and quoting Gogavale, including Dante and talking about the Hapsburgs scum, and have all creations, or a pen we deserve our victory, and Italy deserves to expand for all of its sacrificed during the war.

00:29:50 Speaker 1

Well, who's in the town?

00:29:51 Speaker 1

The people who were fighting against him, the people who have cousins?

00:29:55 Speaker 1

And fathers and brothers and POW camps in Italy at precisely that moment, the people who lost lost family members and friends during the war and the people who don't understand Dante. So how mesmerizing can these speeches be? Else is not a great speaker, but what I don't need to go.

00:30:12 Speaker 1


00:30:13 Speaker 1

So there is.

00:30:15 Speaker 1

If charisma doesn't answer at all, and yet there's still not a lot of violence.

00:30:19 Speaker 1

Why isn't there?

00:30:20 Speaker 1

This is what my book is trying to answer, what what?

00:30:24 Speaker 1

Why isn't it the frich?

00:30:26 Speaker 1

Or in the Baltics?

00:30:28 Speaker 1

Why isn't it Macedonia?

00:30:29 Speaker 1

Why isn't it Ukraine?

00:30:32 Speaker 1

And it and the answer just can't be done.

00:30:35 Speaker 1

Once his fault, these guys are scary guys.

00:30:39 Speaker 1

These guys want to be scary guys.

00:30:41 Speaker 1

They're not doing a lot of scary stuff in doing some scary stuff.

00:30:43 Speaker 1

Doing as much as they probably would want to do, but thinking that there's no violence because these jerks came into the town, it's it's just not tenable.

00:30:54 Speaker 1

So what my book tried to do is figure out what what and what I found.

00:30:59 Speaker 1

I didn't know what the answer was gonna be.

00:31:00 Speaker 1

I was just trying to re populate the city of Fiume with its own inhabitants instead of with with the dannunzio guys, I said well, what what?

00:31:09 Speaker 1

What would a history of Liberia be if we're only talking about the African Americans who come to Liberia?

00:31:14 Speaker 1

We need to tell the history of Liberia and Liberians

00:31:18 Speaker 1

Same thing I tried to do with fumet.

00:31:19 Speaker 1

What I found was something Charles Tilly probably would've liked.

00:31:23 Speaker 1

I found the pillars of the state.

00:31:26 Speaker 1

The state you're not supposed to see because it's actually quote unquote dissolved.

00:31:30 Speaker 1

The Habsburg Empire is still there, even though it's not there.

00:31:35 Speaker 1

Brought up, kept up, changed, manipulated.

00:31:40 Speaker 1

But keeping people more or less.

00:31:45 Speaker 1

Satiated enough to not revolt.

00:31:47 Speaker 1

Then we're in the middle of the Bolshevik revolution.

00:31:50 Speaker 1

We have the Hungarian Revolution going on simultaneously.

00:31:53 Speaker 1

We have the Neo also.

00:31:55 Speaker 1

The Socialist workers movements in Italy.

00:31:57 Speaker 1

Going on right there.

00:31:58 Speaker 1

We are surrounded by revolution.

00:32:02 Speaker 1

And yet this town filled with port workers that does have a you know, illegal but very active Socialist Party isn't revolting.

00:32:10 Speaker 1

What's going on in this town?

00:32:13 Speaker 1

It's not just when the McDonald's still gets there, but also before.

00:32:16 Speaker 1

There's a whole year before then to get there.

00:32:18 Speaker 1

We still also not approval so so I looked at how are people?

00:32:23 Speaker 1

Getting satiated enough.

00:32:25 Speaker 1

And I ask that next, the majority of the book, The real book is Chapter 2 through 5.

00:32:31 Speaker 1

So the first the introduction is a short introduction and a short conclusion.

00:32:35 Speaker 1

Basically doing what I just did.

00:32:38 Speaker 1

Chapter One, which is like what are the Fiume stories? We know all under the assumption. I know none of us know this, but I'm going to pretend we know it and tell them and say why are they weird. So what I just did. But the real book is thinking in terms of what is money when the state that made the money disappear. If if the dollar if the US in the United States.

00:32:59 Speaker 1

Fell apart please don't fall apart, but if the United States fell apart, what is a dollar in California?

00:33:04 Speaker 1

Is it the same as it's going to be in Mississippi?

00:33:08 Speaker 1

Uh, their economies are completely different if you don't have a federal state keeping them all together and you have this money, what how did they do this?

00:33:16 Speaker 1

Well, in your in Habsburg Europe they all started stamping over the money, so Czechoslovak money would get a stamp.

00:33:23 Speaker 1

Fiume money would get a stamp, Serb, Croat, Slovene money would get a stamp and then once stamps.

00:33:29 Speaker 1

Would have completely different values, so in this city that's a transport hub with railways going in and out and a port, and the entire reason it exists is for trade and being between all these places.

00:33:41 Speaker 1

How does this work?

00:33:42 Speaker 1

So I I, you know, I look at it that way.

00:33:44 Speaker 1

And why does Italian annexation seem like a promising idea?

00:33:49 Speaker 1

Again, this is also positing thinking about Italy, not as a buffoon failure state, but actually as a much more viable state than most of the rest of Europe at that time.

00:34:01 Speaker 1

And that there might be real.

00:34:02 Speaker 1

Reasons that a Imperial global capitalist port town might want to be in in Italy instead of a rural agriculturally modeled with very little capital and no infrastructure yet, though they want it serves across, and so being.

00:34:20 Speaker 1

I look at law.

00:34:21 Speaker 1

What is law if the Habsburg Empire is gone and almost everything is mentoring monarchies and Kings and emperors when all of it is gone, what do they do?

00:34:29 Speaker 1

What do they keep going?

00:34:30 Speaker 1

What do they change?

00:34:31 Speaker 1

What do they add?

00:34:32 Speaker 1

They do all those things.

00:34:35 Speaker 1

I look at citizenship.

00:34:36 Speaker 1

What is citizenship?

00:34:37 Speaker 1

When your, when your empire is gone, or if in the American case the federal state is gone, how do they decide who has rights?

00:34:43 Speaker 1

Who gets welfare?

00:34:44 Speaker 1

Big deal after World War One when everyone on ration cards and you know and and and we're in inflation cycles that require subsidies and all of the stuff?

00:34:53 Speaker 1

Who's in and who's out?

00:34:54 Speaker 1

And now the place the local gets to decide the state.

00:34:59 Speaker 1

And then the last section is on where are we in the world?

00:35:03 Speaker 1

How are we thinking about what we are, where we are and all of this is about what does wanting to push because the leadership of the town is trying to push for Italian annexation.

00:35:13 Speaker 1

Some of them are nationalists, other them are that are just pragmatic, but they're also putting together rulebooks.

00:35:20 Speaker 1

For themselves around all these issues, so that if and when they get annexed to Italy, they will already be workable as a subunit within Italy, the way they were a subunit in Hungary before a continuation.

00:35:36 Speaker 1

Mission of this kind of layered autonomy within a state?

00:35:42 Speaker 1

How can we be the Hong Kong of the Adriatic in Italy?

00:35:45 Speaker 1

The way we wear the Hong Kong of the Asiatic in Hungary?

00:35:50 Speaker 1

The the the the, the.

00:35:52 Speaker 1

The major argument of the book is that under the umbrella of political nationalism and everything is expressed in terms of the nation.

00:36:02 Speaker 1

Politically the word nation.

00:36:04 Speaker 1

This just, I mean these poor people.

00:36:06 Speaker 1

They must have just gotten headaches about how much they had to hear that stupid word.

00:36:09 Speaker 1

So it's.

00:36:10 Speaker 1

Everywhere, Nation is everywhere.

00:36:12 Speaker 1

There's something else going on in which the people left in the dissolved empire are doing all this day-to-day work of consolidating what they liked and cutting out the fat of what they didn't like from before.

00:36:27 Speaker 1

Before these new nation states get made.

00:36:32 Speaker 1

The book is not about fuel.

00:36:35 Speaker 1

I don't really care about Fiume.

00:36:37 Speaker 1

I mean it's perfectly nice place.

00:36:38 Speaker 1

I really recommend you go there, but you know 10 years to write this book.

00:36:41 Speaker 1

I don't love you made that much.

00:36:43 Speaker 1

I much I love New York much more so why did I do it?

00:36:46 Speaker 1

It's because it's the smallest successor state.

00:36:49 Speaker 1

It's not.

00:36:49 Speaker 1

This is not an urban history.

00:36:50 Speaker 1

This is not the history of Fiume the town.

00:36:53 Speaker 1

This is about how do you make.

00:36:55 Speaker 1

State after Empire and I started writing thinking about Poland and Yugoslavia the whole time, because if it's this hard in Fiume

00:37:08 Speaker 1

Can you imagine Poland?

00:37:09 Speaker 1

Poland was Germany, Russia and Habsburg Monarchy three different law systems, three different currencies, everything different educational system and they had to make something new out of all of that, Yugoslavia is even more than three.

00:37:24 Speaker 1

This was hard, hard work.

00:37:25 Speaker 1

It took years of struggling to figure out how to make.

00:37:29 Speaker 1

Work and so my book is a lot about.

00:37:32 Speaker 1

It's a process story of trying to figure out how to not lose everything and how to have some hopes of a normal life.

00:37:40 Speaker 1

I mean, these most of these people aren't activists.

00:37:43 Speaker 1

Most of these people are fishmongers, so so you know what's the work necessary to just keep on going.

00:37:49 Speaker 1

And and what if we thought about all of post Imperial Europe that way?

00:37:55 Speaker 1

As as a lot of.

00:37:56 Speaker 1


00:37:57 Speaker 1

Requirements of transition to make a world so is this.

00:38:03 Speaker 1

This is what the book tried to do.

00:38:05 Speaker 1

I hope it succeeded.

00:38:06 Speaker 1

I I worked really **** ** it.

00:38:08 Speaker 1

I I hope that it's a kind of a bridge book between a different historiographies that have somehow found a way to not listen to each other so it it's it's.

00:38:17 Speaker 1

Trying to sit in some lots of different camps, but we are I have heard myself talk about this book so much.

00:38:24 Speaker 1

I would much rather hear questions.

00:38:26 Speaker 1

Talk with you guys not talk anymore.

00:38:32 Speaker 2

All right, well thank you Dominic so much for that really stimulating presentation.

00:38:35 Speaker 2

UM, I'd like to invite everyone in attendance if you would like to ask Dominica question or just post a a comment or an observation, please feel free to do so in the chat dialog.

00:38:48 Speaker 2

Now again, if you post your entire question, I will go ahead and read it.

00:38:52 Speaker 2

On your behalf.

00:38:53 Speaker 2

Otherwise you can just indicate yourself as interested in asking something on your own, and I'll invite you to come to the podium.

00:39:02 Speaker 2

Alright, so it looks like, uh, Claudio Fogou is going to be our first question.

00:39:07 Speaker 2

Askers to Claudia.

00:39:08 Speaker 2

Can you unmute yourself?



00:39:09 Speaker 3

Yes, thank you.

00:39:11 Speaker 3

Thank you Brian.

00:39:12 Speaker 3

Hi Dominique, my God and hi Jeffrey and Paul.

00:39:16 Speaker 3

So many friends that I'm just seeing through this and I'm so excited and because I I feel like a few May is also part of my book and my and my story and I'm.

00:39:29 Speaker 3

Really happy not to have read Dominique's book before because.

00:39:33 Speaker 3

You know you usually say oh, if I had it, you know he's like it's ahead or book. I don't think I would have written my chapter so I would have failed miserably. But I do love the fact that I was inspired to write my chapter by Dominique's earlier work on the Lucy and and and.

00:39:54 Speaker 3

About this kind of Adriatic.

00:39:56 Speaker 3

Take imaginary, which I expanded to become a kind of a sort of larger entity as a Mediterranean imaginary of course very connected to to to the new so.

00:40:09 Speaker 3

But I completely agree with Dominique on considering Fiume and much more interesting.

00:40:16 Speaker 3

A story, then the prequel to fascism and I love you.

00:40:22 Speaker 3

You gave us so many wonderful definitions, but I wanted to ask you about this other you.

00:40:28 Speaker 3

You do mention it this festive.

00:40:32 Speaker 3

Kind of moment of creation, which actually I discovered in my research was not just the nuncio, but it was also observers on the liberal side.

00:40:43 Speaker 3

One of the enthusiasts about Fumees experiment was the liberal Eugenio Luigi, now D.

00:40:52 Speaker 3

Who wrote two articles about Fiume seeing fumen, the crisis of human error?

00:40:57 Speaker 3

Is the phone back foundation of the overcoming of nationality in the nation state and then his ideas would be then taken back 30 years later in the manifest of entertaining for a united Europe so I can see that Fiume was both what you're indicating a kind.

00:41:18 Speaker 3

Those reshuffling of the of the nation states, but also a moment that was not Poland and was not Yugoslavia, because it's sites and its port and its history of maritime Commerce.

00:41:33 Speaker 3

And here I'm just gonna finish with just asking you, what did you see?

00:41:38 Speaker 3

The role of the of the backers of the few medic Pirates.

00:41:44 Speaker 3

It's of the Caribbean, so the Pirates of the Mediterranean.

00:41:47 Speaker 3

This kind of this, the union of dockworkers in Genoa, which was found fundamental with Juliet in really supporting this.

00:41:58 Speaker 3

I I really would love to hear a little more about also that specific, but in general about.

00:42:04 Speaker 3

A few may, as a kind of old, so very stark in in Uncomplete unfinished project.

00:42:11 Speaker 7

Well, I mean, there's just.

00:42:13 Speaker 1

So many things to say about.

00:42:15 Speaker 1

That I you know, how can you not be interested in the Pirates?

00:42:19 Speaker 1

I mean, it's just it's just too good, it's it.

00:42:22 Speaker 1

As you mentioned too, because there's a whole network of.

00:42:24 Speaker 1

How did they figure out where the ships are that they're going to take over, and how do they man the cruise with with people that?

00:42:31 Speaker 1

Will be open to being taken over.

00:42:34 Speaker 1

These are Pirates that are taking over ships, not without actually much violence either.

00:42:38 Speaker 1

It's all been already set up right.

00:42:42 Speaker 1

I mean like people who don't know the story, it's it's.

00:42:44 Speaker 1

It's a pretty amazing story.

00:42:47 Speaker 1

How I engage with that story is that you can only have that pirate story if those men aren't having to control the civil population of human.

00:42:59 Speaker 1

So if the if the.

00:43:00 Speaker 1

Soldiers and the Demonsteel followers actually don't have much work on their hands of keeping the population of the town in line.

00:43:08 Speaker 1

They have a lot more time on their hands for everything.

00:43:13 Speaker 1

That film is famous.

00:43:15 Speaker 1

If you may have become a pictures and media is so important for all of this.

00:43:21 Speaker 1

I mean, I think a lot of the pirate stories in the when they kidnapped the Italian general.

00:43:26 Speaker 1

For that forces.

00:43:27 Speaker 1

I mean all these things that are going on is about keeping Fiume in the news as much as it is to actually get the.

00:43:35 Speaker 1

Get the courses or to get the ship.

00:43:38 Speaker 1

If it's that few, mate only has legs, the more it can keep on disrupting international politics can it can keep on disrupting Italian domestic.

00:43:50 Speaker 1

If there had been massacres in Fumen, if there had been a riots Croatians trying to push them once you out if we had had armed combat with pictures of women in their peasant creation guard being.

00:44:10 Speaker 1

You know, raped by Legionnaires, and there were these stories, but they were kept under wraps.

00:44:17 Speaker 1

Uh, I don't think Fiume could have been for Italy what it was.

00:44:21 Speaker 1

Which was this place where every month it it seemed to represent a different thing?

00:44:26 Speaker 1

Was it going to be a Regency?

00:44:28 Speaker 1

Is it going to have that crazy constitution?

00:44:30 Speaker 1

Is it going to be the anti League of Nations like every month?

00:44:34 Speaker 1

Then also tried something else out.

00:44:37 Speaker 1

And and Italy and Italians watched it and and took from it the the the, the month.

00:44:45 Speaker 1

They liked the less so for for monarchists.

00:44:49 Speaker 1

Humate was also very beloved.

00:44:51 Speaker 1

Because of calling it a Regency and continually to call itself in name of Victoria and manually the second for Anarcho.

00:44:59 Speaker 1

Syndicalists Fiume was a perfect example for Pan European problem ideas it was considered.

00:45:07 Speaker 1

You could read into the human story whatever you wanted because there was there was a a moment of each of those things.

00:45:16 Speaker 1

But it never was an Ireland.

00:45:20 Speaker 1

It never was a, you know, a a suppression of local population an all out war which Ireland is having at that exact same moment.

00:45:32 Speaker 1

So I think that my history in in helps the Italian historiography around human.

00:45:39 Speaker 1

Because it explained why didn't then unseals Legionnaires have so many his moments of violence that they had to be doing?

00:45:48 Speaker 1

And how could you keep on living dental skills so much?

00:45:51 Speaker 1

How could he seem like such a charismatic?

00:45:54 Speaker 1

Leader if you.

00:45:54 Speaker 1


00:45:55 Speaker 1

You saw so much more division and there's a lot of censorship going on in the present and and and the socialist press.

00:46:02 Speaker 1

Avanti is is is is is publishing article after article saying what we know about human is a lie.

00:46:10 Speaker 1

You know it they that they that that the new CEO is cut the Telegraph lines for anyone.

00:46:15 Speaker 1

Who's against him that that people aren't allowed to?

00:46:18 Speaker 1

You know that this is all a propaganda campaign, so Italians are also there are other sections of Italians that are being told what what we see Fiume as isn't is is.

00:46:28 Speaker 1

It is a military propaganda creation that we shouldn't believe, but.

00:46:34 Speaker 1

Just to answer your back background question.

00:46:37 Speaker 1

And Fiesta and humor are usually seen as kind of Twin Cities in a frontier fascism kind of model of that.

00:46:47 Speaker 1

This is the first making of fascism on the frontiers.

00:46:51 Speaker 1

I think that the TST story works a lot better.

00:46:55 Speaker 1

Then the human story.

00:46:57 Speaker 1

And most of it, because 850 is almost immediately taken over by the Italian military and it's Wilson says in December 1919, Italy can have siestas. It's not it bone of contention at the Paris Peace Conference.

00:47:12 Speaker 1

But most importantly, there is no corpus separatum there is none of this semi autonomous city state thing.

00:47:20 Speaker 1

It used to be a part of Franco, but it's not anymore, it's a city.

00:47:24 Speaker 1

And so.

00:47:25 Speaker 1

FEMA is different 'cause it's not a city, it's it's.

00:47:28 Speaker 3


00:47:30 Speaker 1

It's it. I mean, it's a silly little 50,000 person state, but what what I'm looking at is how they make state.

00:47:37 Speaker 1

Uhm, so I.

00:47:38 Speaker 1

I don't know if I.

00:47:38 Speaker 1

Answered your question.

00:47:41 Speaker 2

Very good, thank you so much.

00:47:42 Speaker 2

Next we have Paul learner.

00:47:46 Speaker 5

Thank you for this wonderful talk and I'm Dominic and I'm I'm not going to ask you the question I usually.

00:47:51 Speaker 5

Ask you the question you may be expecting from me because I've been I've now been persuaded that it's most productive not to see this as the precursor to fascism.

00:48:01 Speaker 5

And yes, you've convinced me and I owe an apology to a generation or two of students I've I've misled, but I said my fault, I didn't have your work yet.

00:48:01 Speaker 3

Second brother.

00:48:11 Speaker 5

Disabuse me of this kind of myth, but but my my question is, it's a little similar to claudio's, but I want to I'm pushing different directions, I've only I've only read a little of the book so far.

00:48:23 Speaker 5

And what I'm wondering, it it seems to me that's the whole this whole dannunzio episode is you know, more like a kind of artistic happening or spectacle or performance piece of some sort, one with more kind of joy and gusto than.

00:48:43 Speaker 5

Actual serious political work and you know you made that point very clearly.

00:48:48 Speaker 5

So what I'm wondering is what the kind of ordinary if there were such a thing.

00:48:54 Speaker 5

As you know, ordinary residents, what they made of it.

00:48:58 Speaker 5

If they kind of just ignored it and and it would seem like a distraction from the day-to-day business of the real concerns about getting, you know, food on the table, and so forth.

00:49:08 Speaker 5

Yeah, so if you could talk about that a little bit.

00:49:10 Speaker 1

It's a great question, so hard one to answer, uhm?

00:49:15 Speaker 1

So my first book was mostly based on the voices of the of of people, right?

00:49:20 Speaker 1

So it was about letters and and articles and publications and correspondences and and it was a history of a network of people.

00:49:30 Speaker 1

This book is almost no voices, but many, many names.

00:49:34 Speaker 1

Many, many stories, but always seem.

00:49:38 Speaker 1

To mark the archives of the state.

00:49:40 Speaker 1

Right disrupting moments or watching how they're trying to change the state.

00:49:45 Speaker 1

Because I wanted to not have the elites be the few means I I didn't want the Legionnaires to be.

00:49:52 Speaker 1

The few means I didn't want the elites to be.

00:49:53 Speaker 1

The obviously believes have a lot to do with the story, 'cause they're the ones making the state, which is no democracy, but.

00:50:01 Speaker 1

I don't know what people really think, right?

00:50:04 Speaker 1

I just know how they're acting, so it's it's kind of a sociological approach to trying to put people in a way, because if I if I go by what people are really thinking, the only sources I'm going to have our either the.

00:50:21 Speaker 1

Memoirs from afterwards or or publication activity is what it meant, but so much happens after 1921, yeah?

00:50:30 Speaker 1

How are you not writing about this after you know what happens with fashion, how does that not change how you tell this or or when the Nazis coming, they they take over in 1943, and that's a big story and then and then the Cheeto Italy battles of where it's going to be and has a big story. And then we had socialism. That's a big story. And then we have, you know, neoliberalism.

00:50:49 Speaker 1

Big story, so I I don't know how much I I can use.

00:50:52 Speaker 1

The memoirs and letters and that stuff that aren't from the time and I have very.

00:50:57 Speaker 1

Little of everyday people.

00:51:00 Speaker 1

I have politicians but they changed what they say every month because everything keeps on changing.

00:51:05 Speaker 1

So what I do know is that no one and there's an excellent article that just came out in Italian that was looking at what Croatian activists were thinking about them and said well this is a.

00:51:17 Speaker 1

All going on, and what this historian Bunny Delessio says is they're kind of transfixed by him.

00:51:24 Speaker 1

No one can really understand if this is a joke.

00:51:27 Speaker 1

Or if this is new politics like going back to what Claudio said, people, people are theorizing around then once they're trying to figure out if this is a fluke.

00:51:39 Speaker 1

Or if this is the new with that, uh, uh, the new the new the the, the new tone, the new strain of of politics it is this real or is this an accident?

00:51:53 Speaker 1

And, uh, there's a very famous creation novelist who wrote this book called Madonna in Seattle.

00:51:59 Speaker 1

Synchronations ever been translated fascinating?

00:52:02 Speaker 1

And it's about how all of this is a lie, right?

00:52:05 Speaker 1

So that he's telling stories about you, know how.

00:52:09 Speaker 1

Then once he was saying one thing and around the corner, there's a bunch of creations, you know, black markets selling top tobacco with, but the other thing that that book is really interesting about is he holds them once.

00:52:19 Speaker 1

You're almost like a stalker.

00:52:22 Speaker 1

Like they like an interest in the rhetoric.

00:52:25 Speaker 1

And then there's a.

00:52:25 Speaker 1

There's a very famous memoir that was written in Italian about this time period where people started talking like the nuncio.

00:52:32 Speaker 1

Like all of this flamboyantly

00:52:34 Speaker 1

Language, so I don't know what the answer is.

00:52:36 Speaker 1

What people thought I do think you know if you were thinking something like a gramshi there there is this hegemony thing going on about who's in charge at that moment and what that does to culture and everyday things like there's a lot more *** happening in Fiume.

00:52:54 Speaker 1

Not just by the Legionnaires.

00:52:57 Speaker 1

Is that because of?

00:52:58 Speaker 1

That's what always happens after war?

00:53:00 Speaker 1

Or is that because you know you've got a guy who's flamboyantly divorced his wife and writes about abortion?

00:53:07 Speaker 1

Being that the the the Dolce of?

00:53:11 Speaker 1

Your world I.

00:53:13 Speaker 1

I don't no no it's really done that work yet.

00:53:17 Speaker 1

Because they've been so interested in the Legionnaires.

00:53:21 Speaker 1

Because it's just trying to understand those Italians from all over Italy who ran away from home or or perhaps lost their pension because they left their military closer.

00:53:33 Speaker 1

Why did they do so?

00:53:34 Speaker 1

There's been this kind of wanting to understand why they went.

00:53:39 Speaker 1

And what it means, what they do there about Italy that has kind of overwhelmed that question you just asked?

00:53:46 Speaker 1

I think it's just a fascinating one of.

00:53:49 Speaker 1

What do people think about winnings?

00:53:52 Speaker 1

I don't think we have that answer yet, but it would.

00:53:55 Speaker 1

It may be people will start looking.

00:53:59 Speaker 2

Alright, very good, thank you for that response.

00:54:01 Speaker 2

Next in the stack is Marla Stone, Marla.

00:54:05 Speaker 6

Hi everyone and congratulations dominate.

00:54:07 Speaker 1

I started ironist.

00:54:09 Speaker 6

Yeah, I'm gonna keep my camera off 'cause I'm in the Albany train station and I will spare everyone that, but so Dominic I have two sort of thoughts questions.

00:54:19 Speaker 6

The first one is this issue of you know, was it violent or not violent?

00:54:24 Speaker 6

How do we measure a metric of violence?

00:54:26 Speaker 6

And we know that fascists?

00:54:28 Speaker 6


00:54:29 Speaker 6

Period of violence prior to the assumption of power, 3000 people were killed. So on the one hand you'd say, well, that's not very many and you know, as you said, 50 is not very many.

00:54:39 Speaker 6

But for insurrection, airy violence had.

00:54:42 Speaker 6

How many do you need?

00:54:43 Speaker 6

You know the capital insurrection.

00:54:45 Speaker 6

Five people were killed, so just you know how do you measure that?

00:54:49 Speaker 6

And in my second question 'cause we all ask questions based on what we're interested in was the Bolshevik revolution a model in any way?

00:54:57 Speaker 6

Were they looking back to that and oh, you take the train station you take?

00:55:02 Speaker 6

You know, the radio tower or what have you?

00:55:04 Speaker 6

What was there any?

00:55:05 Speaker 6

Discussion of of using that.

00:55:07 Speaker 6

As a rubric.

00:55:10 Speaker 1

Uh, so that, for example, the 50 people?

00:55:13 Speaker 1

That's not the.

00:55:14 Speaker 1

That's not the answer, taking power, that's the Italian state keeping power from them on sale, right?

00:55:18 Speaker 1

So that's not how did.

00:55:20 Speaker 1

Then once you come to power, that's not the 50 people.

00:55:22 Speaker 1

That's the Italian state getting rid of them.

00:55:25 Speaker 1

And so so you know, there's not a single person.

00:55:25 Speaker 5


00:55:29 Speaker 1

You don't have to pick talent.

00:55:33 Speaker 1

The the the the British, French, Italian with some clients are supposed to say no to this and American troops just stepped aside.

00:55:36 Speaker 1

This is.

00:55:36 Speaker 1

00:55:41 Speaker 1

Leave the barracks and give them.

00:55:45 Speaker 1

So it's it's not about trying to understand and I agree with you.

00:55:48 Speaker 1

So one of the things I never really know what to do is the burning of of of cultural spaces.

00:55:53 Speaker 1

Right in PSA?

00:55:54 Speaker 1

You know this very well.

00:55:55 Speaker 1

The very famous burning of hotels icon, which is the the kind of headquarters of Slovene and the socialist movement into yesterday's.

00:56:05 Speaker 1

Always used in the chronology of the fastest pace you know, gaining ground in in the Northeast.

00:56:12 Speaker 1

What the inview made, they burned down the the.

00:56:15 Speaker 7

The the the.

00:56:17 Speaker 1

But that then there's like they socialism is pretty illegal and hungry, unlike in Austria, and so they have these unified movements offices of workers of different trades, right?

00:56:31 Speaker 1

They can't all be one parties, but that that that building gets written down.

00:56:35 Speaker 1

So and it's very associated.

00:56:36 Speaker 1

Also with the creation and Slovene.

00:56:38 Speaker 1

Nationalist organizations and reading clubs.

00:56:41 Speaker 1

That is a kind of violence, right?

00:56:43 Speaker 1

It's very symbolic violence, and it's showing.

00:56:45 Speaker 1

Think that what no one's gonna say no to us like we're gonna do this so that there's there's scary scary stuff going on but.

00:56:53 Speaker 1

Is so much less than Fiesta, so why no one else is there?

00:56:58 Speaker 1

I mean, honestly, this is this is Motley crews of men with guns in an urban center left to play.

00:57:09 Speaker 1

And it is pretty shocking to me that this doesn't turn into.

00:57:15 Speaker 1


00:57:17 Speaker 1

And it's not a dream, but my goodness, we know from so many other histories what it means to put in a town.

00:57:26 Speaker 1

Those decommissioned officers, those soldiers, and a nationalist battle over who owns the town.

00:57:32 Speaker 1

It's pretty incredible that this did not turn into something.

00:57:37 Speaker 1

Much worse much.

00:57:38 Speaker 3


00:57:39 Speaker 6

Yeah, that makes sense, thanks.

00:57:43 Speaker 2

Alright, thanks to the both of you.

00:57:44 Speaker 2

I think we have time for just one last question, so my my apologies to to Matthew, but we're going to go with Kevin Ken Jar as our last question asker today.

00:57:56 Speaker 4

Hi there, uh, thank you Dominique for a very interesting talk.

00:58:00 Speaker 4

Greetings from rijeka.

00:58:01 Speaker 1

I like it.

00:58:04 Speaker 4

I am actually here.

00:58:05 Speaker 4

This is of course a fake backdrop, but I am living here and I have a a quick question.

00:58:11 Speaker 4

I just got a copy of your book and got to go through parts of there very quickly and there was one thing that really fascinated me and this was the proposed idea of this.

00:58:24 Speaker 4

League of Puma.

00:58:25 Speaker 4

As a kind of anti League of Nations and going through it, seeing how the League wished to you know in.

00:58:33 Speaker 4

Food, oppressed nations throughout the world living under colonialism, so Afghanistan that patania Ireland, etc.

00:58:42 Speaker 4

And a little closer to home.

00:58:43 Speaker 7


00:58:43 Speaker 1

Then Native Americans.

00:58:45 Speaker 4

Exactly Chinese and California Blacks in the United States and Americans, and I'm really curious, was this actually part of a an anti colonial nationalist impulse within the the state of humic or was it more of this?

00:59:05 Speaker 4

Kind of desire to be a thorn in the side of the emerging Post war order and.

00:59:12 Speaker 4

Again, as you mentioned, an effort to stay in the news.

00:59:16 Speaker 4

So that's my question.

00:59:17 Speaker 1

It's totally an effort to stay.

00:59:19 Speaker 1

In the news so.

00:59:20 Speaker 1

So at the exact same time that they're they're writing up this League of Nations thing, they expel hundreds of creations from the.

00:59:28 Speaker 7


00:59:29 Speaker 1

For no other reason than what their last name sounds like.

00:59:33 Speaker 1

This is, this is and it's there.

00:59:35 Speaker 1

There are three guys in charge of coming up with this idea of that anti League of Nations and and they do.

00:59:41 Speaker 1

They do all these fascinating studies of all the different parts of the world and where where we see oppression and they they they're right, they're they're creating that.

00:59:51 Speaker 1

They're almost created.

00:59:52 Speaker 1

I mean no one.

00:59:53 Speaker 1

Actually written about this very well, but you can find this in the Vittoriale archive if you ever want to look this up, they're literally trying to create like a almost an enlightenment kind of Dictionary of a.

01:00:04 Speaker 1

Russian and there and it's like case studies Uruguay like they they. They're literally writing about the whole world and in different places that. But these are three guys that are told by Donald Co. Come up with something, but this is in no way put into action in that Old Town.

01:00:24 Speaker 1

Nor is it.

01:00:27 Speaker 1

In any way given much.

01:00:29 Speaker 1

Gas, right?

01:00:31 Speaker 1

So it's it.

01:00:32 Speaker 1

It's kind of one of those fascinating moments, as as I, I think you, if if you're if you're like me, I I love this kind of stuff because it means woo they're really interested in this idea.

01:00:42 Speaker 1

It's so fascinating that they're talking this way, so it makes you think about what that meant.

01:00:48 Speaker 1

That will sonian moment.

01:00:50 Speaker 1

Is and and maybe it is real.

01:00:52 Speaker 1

Or maybe there is something about empire and colonies and oppression that that is speaking to people and that they know they're in a really, really mean world and they want to do something.

01:01:03 Speaker 1

But maybe that's true.

01:01:05 Speaker 1

But you know what?

01:01:05 Speaker 1

When you look at the archive, what you find out is about those three guys making that archive that are thinking that way.

01:01:12 Speaker 1

It doesn't have much to do with the few.

01:01:14 Speaker 1

My story, it doesn't even have much to do with their own feel.

01:01:17 Speaker 1

He has no problem with depression.

01:01:20 Speaker 7


01:01:21 Speaker 1


01:01:23 Speaker 1

So, so it's it's one of those great things I would use, and if I ever use it to say we can find traces of people all over the world worried about the same thing.

01:01:37 Speaker 1

And these guys are clearly amongst them, but that doesn't have a lot to do with them on sale or what's happening in the film, and so it would be useful for an intellectual history that sensitivities and and wanting to create new visions of world order.

01:01:54 Speaker 1

But it's it's not much more than than than than breaking into somebody's trunk and finding their letters. It's not about the new seal and and his regime and human.

01:02:07 Speaker 1

It's about staying in the news.

01:02:10 Speaker 2

Indeed, all right thank you so much for all those questions and I also want to remind everyone here in the chat that if you'd like to purchase a copy of this book at a 20% discount, Harvard University Press is offering us the special code you can click on and get your copy today. Thank you.

01:02:29 Speaker 2

To doctor Dominique Kurt real.

01:02:31 Speaker 2

For for your time today and for that very thought provoking and stimulating presentation and thank you to everyone who attended and for your participation in this book talk.

01:02:42 Speaker 1

This is so fun, thank you.

01:02:45 Speaker 2

Alright everyone, thanks so much.

01:02:48 Speaker 2

Bye bye bye everyone bye Dominic.

01:02:49 Speaker 7

Chow chow chow.

01:02:51 Speaker 1

Bye bye thank you.

01:02:52 Speaker 1

Thank you bye.