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Italy at the Paris Peace Conference by Ren Albrecht-Carri

Review by: Denys P. Myers


The American Political Science Review, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Feb., 1939), pp. 122-124
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1949788 .
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122

THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

government,whichbroughthim the enduringenmityof the Reformists.


For the Reformists,whose attitude the authorfollowson the whole,
regardthe splitin the Socialistranksin 1912as a betrayalof the causeand
blamethe subsequentdeclinein Italiansocialdemocracyon the directactionistsunder the leadershipof Mussolini.The most serious "betrayal,"however,occurredin 1914,whenMussoliniand the syndicalist
interventionistsabandonedtheir oppositionto war and turned "patristic." As late as 1912, Mussolinisaid: "We cannot conceiveof a
patrioticsocialism"(p. 272?;andthe authoris still unableto conceiveit.
Unfortunately,Dr. Megaro'shistoryends just beforethis crucial"betrayal"of socialismtook place, and, since he discountsthe rumorsof
venality (p. 191),he is left with "a difficultproblemof interpretation."
In general,he presentsthe early Mussolinias in almosteverythingthe
antithesisof the later.He evenrepresentsMussolinias inconsistentwhen
he turnedviolentlyagainsthis formerinspirer,Sorel,thoughit is clear,
even on Dr. Megaro'sown account,that the shift on this occasionwas
in Sorel,ratherthan in Mussolini.
Nevertheless,the readerwill probablythink the book well entitled,
forit makesthe laterMussolinimoreintelligible.Mussoliniwasa fanatical Blanquist."The essentialbeliefof the Blanquistswas that a small,
resolute,andwell-prepared
revolutionaryminorityof armedmenshould
be readyat the opportunemomentto overthrowthe dominanceof the
bourgeoisie,seize politicalpower,and maintainit by dictatorialforce
in the interestof the proletariat.Oncedictatorshipwasestablished,steps
would be taken to organizesociety along communisticlines. The necessity of insurrection,coups d'etat, minorityaction, and authoritarian
rule wereintegralparts of the Blanquistcredo"(p. 106). The least intelligibleyears of Mussolini'scareer,on the basis of this portrait,are
1921-24,when he sacrificedmost of his socialism,his anti-clericalism,
andhis anti-parliamentarianism
to his Nationalistalliesin orderto bring
a party to powerin Parliament.It is not difficultto see why Mussolini,
in orderto justifysuchtacticsto his ownmind,wasobligedto transform
the Marchon Romeinto a "revolution."
HERBERT
W. SCHNEIDER.
CotumbiaUniversity.
Italy at the Paris Peace Conference.BY RENEALBRECHT-CARRIE.
(New

York:ColumbiaUniversityPress.1938.Pp. xv, 575. $5.25.)


This volumefollowsJamesT. Shotwell'sOrigins of the International
LaborOryanizationin a serieson "TheParisPeaceConference;
History
and Documents,"publishedfor the CarnegieEndowmentfor InternationalPeace.The authorhas woveninto a facile and comprehensive
narrativeall availablematerialon negotiationsat Parisconcerningthe

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BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTICES

123

Italiall border,Adriatic,colonial,and Turkishquestions,fortifiedwith


50 documentsand papers. The documentsof 192024, competently
summarized,are not printed,and even the citationsof the treatiesof
Sevres,Rapallo,and Romeareinadequate.Why do historianspersistin
the bad habit of using all texts exceptthose which give the final decisions?
Additionalmaterialmay later contributedetails and occasionally
elucidatemotives,but thisjudiciousandpenetratingaccountof a complex
and prolongeddiplomaticquarrelis not likelyto be supersededby later
revelations.If there are morefacts as M. Albrecht-Carrie
suspectsthey will scarcelychangethe focus of so competenta pictureof a notorious incident; they might add color British, French, Italian, or
Yugoslav.
The controversywhich was staged over the Italian northernand
northeasternborderscouldnot bemoreurbanelyor more equablytold.
The readermay writheat the evasivestubbornnessof Orlandoor the
obstinatevirtueof Wilson,but the authorplacidlytellsthe storywithout
distortinga(ljectives.He doespictureit as "the dramatizedissueof the
old orderagainstthe new" (p. 324), and that seemsto the reviewertoo
alooffromthe realities.
Italy freeditself fromthe TripleAllianceat the outset of the war of
1914-18andmadea betterbargainin the 1915treatyof Londonwiththe
Allies than it could with Austria-Hungarybecausethe Allies could
promiseAustrianterritorymoregenerouslythan Austriawould.President Wilsonin 1918enunciatedhis fourteenpoints,whichwereaccepted
as a basisof peaceat the Germanarmistice,but not as suchat the prior
armistices.They were propergeneralprinciples,and were convenient
guidesin makingthe severalpeaces.The collapseof Austria-Hungary
provokedItaly, the moreso becausethe neighboringYugoslavsgravitatedtowardwhatbecamethe Serb-Croat-Slovene
state andItaly wanted
to treat theirareaas enemyterritory.The Americansbroughtplansto
Parisallegedlyin conformitywith the fourteenpoints.Thoseallocations
of territorydid not matchthe promisesof the treaty of London,which
wasin badodorbecauseit wassaidto be "secret."
A normalnegotiationin whichthese conflictinginterestswerereconciledby give andtakemighthaveensuedif Orlando'scabinethadagreed
on a firmline of policy. Instead,he adduced"strategic"argumentsin
makingclaimsbeyondwhat were regardedby his British and French
alliesas the exactionsof the Treatyof London.Nothingwas bettercalculatedto entrenchWilsonback of his fourteenpoints,literatim. There
followeda year (February,1919,to February,1920)of fortuitousproposals,punctuatedby Wilson'sappealto the Italianpeopleon April23
overthe headof the Italianpremierand the aggravationof the aBairby

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124

AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW


THE

cabinet
seizure of Fiume on September 11. The Orlando
D'Annunzio's
negotiations
promising
on June 19, 1919, and its successorsconducted
fell
sequence.They
even had the technical merit of having a perceptible
that
This reached a
obdurateness.
however, confronted with Wilson's
were,
between Italy
negotiations
direct
in March, 1920, when he made
point
Wilson was
Mr.
veto.
a
to
andYugoslavia subject to what amounted
made
Yugoslavia
and
Italy
and
shortlyafterward out of the picture,
"old"
an
between
not
was
issue
own arrangement.The underlying
their
of an "old"
and a "new"; it was rather a misapplicationboth
diplomacy
principle.
of
diplomacy
of expediencyand of a "new"
diplomacy
and enlightenM. Albrecht-Carrierounds out his study with a careful
questions
colonial
in
interest
passive
ingaccount of Italy's more or less
Conference.
Peace
the
of
stages
andin Asia Minor in the several
DENYSP. MYERS.
WorldPeace Foundation.
H. H.
BY MAXWELL
Italy'sForeign and Colonial Policy, t9t4-t937.
(New York: Oxford University
ANDPAULCREMONA.
MCCARTNEY
Press. 1938. Pp. vii, 353. $3.00.)
phraseit, "to explain
The authors of this book have attempted, as they
and the more enduring
the fundamental motives, the salient features,
they have written less
doing
so
In
policy."
tendenciesin Italian foreign
the intelligent layman
forthe student of international politics than for
is being enacted within
whois increasinglyconscious that a great drama
who desires to gain more
the historic confinesof the Mediterranean,and
relationship of Italy
insight into, and a better perspective about, the
well-knit account all the
to that drama. Such a reader can find in this
deal of thoughtful and
pertinent informationthat he needs and a great
provocative interpretation as well.
to make an analysis
In one sense, at least, it muBtbe somewhat eadier
attempt a similar study
of contemporaryItalian foreign policy than to
States. Unlike these defor France, Great Britain, or even the United
is inspiredby a single
mocracies,Fascist Italy has a foreign policy which
toward a single
great motivating force, and which is directed inflexibly
is the passionate desire
goal. That motivation, accordingto the authors,
to make Italy so strong
to escape from an erstwhileposition of inferiority,
Britain) can never again
that the Great Powers (read France and Great
is the reasonwhy Signor
speak to her de hauten bas. This, and this alone,
to time with these
Mussolini has been willing to cooperate from time
or material interest.
Powers on projects in which Italy had no direct
of the ill-fated
An instance of this is to be found in the Italian guarantee abstained, we
we
"Had
Locarno treaty. As Il Duce expressed it later,
is at the bottom of the
which
agreement
the
in
part
should have had no

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