“A logical necessity in our epoch”

No more copy-and-paste function in Kindle for Windows 8 but I hope for no errors in retyping:

Among the changes in behaviour meant to make Italians more militant and commanding was the abolition of the allegedly effete and foreign handshake. Thereafter, it was urged, Italians must greet each other with the ‘Roman’ salute. A Chicago doctor was cited as approving the resultant effect on the health of the nation. It must also benefit those politicians required to greet the people, as in the case of Herbert Hoover, who had recently been exhausted by shaking three thousand hands at a White House reception. The American president would stay fitter, Italians were told, had he merely raised his hand in the Roman salute. Starace urged that Fascists should lead by example in the matter ‘among their families and in public’. ‘It cannot be said … that the Roman salute is being imposed out of false showmanship since it has not been dreamed up coldly by someone sitting at a desk or consulting books. Rather the salute has returned [from the Roman era] spontaneously, as a logical necessity in our epoch of squadrism.’

From Mussolini’s Italy: Life Under the Fascist Dictatorship, 1915-1945 by R. J. B. Bosworth. This is sublime.


  1. I must read this book some day. I remember in Mussolini’s (unsuccessful) “Battle for Births” he banned newspapers from publishing pictures of thin women (dieting led to infertility) and women with dogs (child substitutes). A genius solution.

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