Meet the Author: Eden McLean

Eden McLean, PhD, presents "Mussolini’s Children: Race and Elementary Education in Fascist Italy"

When: February 7, 2019 | 5:00 p.m. Reception | 6:00 p.m. Presentation | 7:00 p.m. Book Signing
Where: The National World War II Museum, Louisiana Memorial Pavilion
945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

The Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, in partnership with the Austrian Marshall Plan Center for European Studies at the University of New Orleans, is delighted to host Eden McLean, PhD, for a conversation about her book, which shows how the Fascist Italian state perversely prepared its youth for it malevolent aspirations. Joining Dr. Eden will be Museum friend and advisor, UNO professor Günter Bischof, PhD.

Mussolini’s Children uses the lens of state-mandated youth culture to analyze the evolution of official racism in Fascist Italy. Between 1922 and 1940, educational institutions designed to mold the minds and bodies of Italy’s children between the ages of five and 11 undertook a mission to rejuvenate the Italian race and create a second Roman Empire. This project depended on the twin beliefs that the Italian population did indeed constitute a distinct race and that certain aspects of its moral and physical makeup could be influenced during childhood.

For this important work, McLean assembled evidence from state policies, elementary textbooks, pedagogical journals, and other educational materials to illustrate the contours of a Fascist racial ideology as it evolved over 18 years. Her work explains how the most infamous period of Fascist racism, which began in summer 1938 with the publication of the “Manifesto of Race,” played a critical part in a more general and long-term Fascist racial program. The reception and presentation are free and open to the public, but please register to attend, and brought to you by the Institute for the Study of War and Democracy with generous support from the Strake Foundation.

About the author: Eden McLean is a historian of 20th century Europe, with a particular focus on Italy in the interwar period. Dr. McLean joined Auburn University’s Department of History in 2012 after teaching for two years at Western Connecticut State University. She earned a PhD in history from Yale University and a BA in history from the University of Virginia.

Eden McLean and Center Austria Director Günter Bischof

Eden McLean and Center Austria Director Günter Bischof