The rise of Benito Mussolini and Fascism.
Published in 1935.
A little history: George Seldes was sent to Italy in 1919 as a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. He was to report on the “Red Revolution” where he would meet the then Socialist Journalist, Benito Mussolini. Seldes would return to Italy occasionally until he was permanently assigned to Rome in 1924.
During his transfer from Berlin to Rome, he stopped at Paris where he met his colleague, William Bolitho. He informed Seldes that the Fascist regime was working to suppress the early history of Fascism and Mussolini.
While in Italy, Seldes worked to find rare documentation that the Fascists were trying to destroy. He also reported on one of the biggest scandals of the time, the assassination of Matteotti. Despite massive censorship by Mussolini’s propaganda ministries, Seldes was able to send the story of Matteotti to Chicago. The story also printed in Paris which caught Mussolini’s attention.
Seldes was immediately ordered out of the country (1925). While leaving on the Orient Express, the train was stopped by the Modena squadristi who attempted to forcibly remove Seldes. He was able to avoid being assaulted by posing as a British admiral.
Seldes would continue to work as correspondent to the Chicago Tribune. The facts he uncovered and his experiences in Italy became the basis for his book Sawdust Caesar (1935).