Hemingway and Mussolini: A Study in Contrasts

Author: Anders Greenspan, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, USA
Email: historianag@yahoo.com
Published: February 4, 2022

Citation: Greenspan, A. (2021). Hemingway and Mussolini: A Study in Contrasts. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.8.2.02


The advent of the twentieth century brought with it a deep sense of historical discontinuity. The period confronted writers, artists and political players with an essential dilemma: how to revise personal perspectives in light of the new social, cultural and political contexts brought about by this rupture with the past. In this regard, Ernest Hemingway and Benito Mussolini are relevant exemplars. While this study does not concern itself with Mussolini’s journey from leftist socialist activist to fascism, it will examine Hemingway’s oft-forgotten early journalistic career and his growing political awareness, an undertaking for which Mussolini provides a pertinent touchstone. This evolving discernment eventually turned Hemingway into an avowed anti-fascist and provoked his bitter opposition to Mussolini’s policies. While Hemingway did not generally engage in protracted political discourse when young, as events in Europe took shape in the 1920s and 30s and fascism became a growing political force, the writer began to expatiate his opposition to it. His views appeared in diverse venues: private correspondence, poetry, a short story and journalistic work. This commitment to the values of democracy continued throughout the Spanish Civil War and World War II.


Fascism, Hemingway, Italy, journalism, Mussolini