A personal and national narrative of resistance to globalism
Twenty years ago I somehow managed to get my act together and get out of Paris, where I had haunted a cheap hotel for a year in the wake of the death of Princess Diana like the ghost of the Marlon Brando character in Last Tango in Paris.
And so I got in my car and drove down to Italy to write a biography of the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
I had a very good contract with a major British publisher to write the book—my first—but had long since spent the advance and had yet to write a single word. I did not have enough money even to pay the motorway toll on arrival.
I had stopped off in Paris, bewitched by a treacherous French journalist friend, to write an instant book on the death of Diana. The idea was to make a fast buck to finance the Mussolini project. That did not happen. “You will make a lot of monnay,” his father, who masterminded the deal, kept on telling me. I never did, and Paris cost me money and much more, nearly my life.
The sexy Italian woman manning the toll booth gave me a form to fill out and waved me through with a smile.
What a fantastic country Italy is—I thought—and aren’t Italian women just so amazing?
My destination was the small town in the Romagna where Mussolini was born in 1883—Predappio—not...