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  • John Gooch knows more about 20th-century Italy than perhaps anyone else in Britain ... He paints a record of appalling brutality, epic incompetence ... There are echoes of the madness of Benito Mussolini in outpourings that we hear daily from several world capitals, among them Washington. Listen, and be afraid.

    Max Hastings, Sunday Times
  • A meticulous, skilful account ... it is hard to imagine a finer account, both of the sweep of Italy's wars, and of the characters caught up in them.

    Caroline Moorhead, Guardian
  • An important book, adding much to our knowledge of Italy's baleful contribution to the conflicts of the 1930s and 1940s ... a work of meticulous scholarship.

    Saul David, The Times
  • Lucid ... diligently researched ... an exceptionally detailed portrait.

    Ian Thomson, The Spectator
  • Excellent ... This detailed military history shows the long arc of strategic ineptitude.

    Richard Overy, Times Literary Supplement

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