Mussolini's Explorer: The Adventures of Giuseppe Tucci and Italian Policy in the Orient from Mussolini to Andreotti on Amazon
Great book dedicated to one of the most important.. (by Umberto Mondini)
Great book dedicated to one of the most important, fascinating and mysterious men of Italian culture: Giuseppe Tucci. I agree with Paul Arpaia, Professor of History, Indiana University of Pennsylvania when he writes” Few scholars today have Garzilli’s enormous breadth to weave together Tucci s contributions in history, linguistics, archeology, philosophy and anthropology under Fascist Italy and the Italian Republic”.
In a word: splendid! (by Krishnadt)
When the mailman delivered to me this first volume of the monumental Garzilli’s 9 vols. work on the great Italian orientalist Giuseppe Tucci, I remember I was eager to read it as soon as possible. But, alas!, several work commitments kept me far from my intentions… since last week!
I’ve therefore taken my time to go with the due attention through all its pages: introduction, photographic material, the two main chapters (one dealing with Tucci’s youth and the other with his expeditions in Asia and the figure of Carlo Formichi) and even the bibliography.
Well… I’ve literally devoured it!!
As an enthusiast of Oriental studies and as an Italian, I’ve since ever been interested in Tucci’s life and works. Yet, if his books and articles still are at our disposal, for obvious reasons his file is not, and only one who knew him and his friends, acquaintances and colleagues in person, one like Enrica Garzilli, can better tell us the many facets of Tucci’s character: not only the international scholar, but also the Italian professor, the adventurer, the husband, the play-boy… in a word, that incredible man he was, loved by some, loathed by others.
The true spirit of Garzilli’s book, I must say, lies in the fact that it’s not a mere collection of episodes of Tucci’s life or a, so to speak, simple research concerned with what Tucci did, where he went, whom he met with. Not at all! This book, on the contrary, is an actual landscape. Garzilli, page after page, while thoroughly expounding the results of her delving into documents and direct witnesses, accompanies us into Tucci’s world.
Mussolini's Explorer: The Adventures of Giuseppe Tucci and Italian Policy in the Orient from Mussolini to Andreotti. With the Correspondence of Giulio Andreotti. (Volume 1)
We had to change the title of Il Duce’s Explorer into Mussolini’s Explorer: The Adventures of Giuseppe Tucci and Italian Policy in the Orient from Mussolini to Andreotti. With the Correspondence of Giulio Andreotti. (Volume 1).
Here are the endorsements of Paul Arpaia, Professor of History at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Sumit Guha, Professor of History at The University of Texas at Austin, and Michael Witzel, Wales Prof. of Sanskrit at Harvard University.
“Enrica Garzilli’s compelling biography of Giuseppe Tucci reconstructs the life of Fascism in Asia and of preeminent explorer-scholar who traveled widely in India, Tibet, Nepal, Afghanistan, Japan, Pakistan and Iran. Few scholars today have Garzilli’s enormous breadth to weave together Tucci s contributions in history, linguistics, archeology, philosophy and anthropology under Fascist Italy and the Italian Republic.”
–Paul Arpaia, Professor of History, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
“As Italy takes up arms and Mussolini sets his eye on supplanting the British Crown a fact elegantly and rigorously uncovered by Garzilli in these pages Giuseppe Tucci manages to maneuver his way through the treacherous landscapes of the Himalayas and of Fascist politics to emerge as the country’s foremost scholar and archaeologist of the Orient. His achievement is monumental, and Garzilli’s monumental biography brings him joyously to life, through archival documents, personal letters, travelogues, lectures, interviews, articles, photographs, films, and her own tireless travels. Here is a hunt in search of a hunter.”
–Michael Witzel, Wales Prof. of Sanskrit, Harvard University
“Giuseppe Tucci has long been known as a foundational figure in the European discovery of India and Tibet as well as founder of IsMEO. This exhaustive new biographical study tells us much more about the academic side of his achievements, but also about his little-known collaborations with Mussolini and his sponsorship of Indian luminaries’ visits to Fascist Italy. It will be indispensable for anyone seeking a complete understanding of Orientalist enterprises in the early twentieth century.”
–Sumit Guha, Professor of History, The University of Texas at Austin
On the Holocaust Memorial Day, dedicated to the Shoah, I would like to clarify the position of Tucci on racism and anti-Semitism. The issue has sparked much controversy in the Roman Jewish community, in Italian media and at parliamentary level, when on May 25, 2010, a widening in Rome was named Largo Giuseppe Tucci in his honor.
The Manifesto of Racist Scientists or Manifesto of Race was published in Il Giornale d’Italia (Newspaper of Italy) on July 15, 1938. Later on were given the names of ten scientists who had “prepared or supported” the document. One of them, professor Nicola Pende, director of the Institute of Special Medical Pathology at the University of Rome, a few months later denied having given his support.
On the Internet and was picked up by some journalists a list of public figures – all men – that would be deployed publicly in favor of the “Manifesto of Race”. Among them politicians, distinguished intellectuals, cartoonists, physiscians, journalists, and Giuseppe Tucci.
The Declaration of Race was approved by the Grand Council of Fascism on October 6, 1938 and a few days after it was published in the Paper of the National Fascist Party (PNF). King Vittorio Emanuele III, under Mussolini proposal, along with the ministers of Foreign Affairs, of Justice, of Finance, and of Corporations, on November 17, 1938 approved a which established the Measures for the Defense of the Italian Race.
Racial discrimination occurred in both public and private sectors and in the education of children born to Jewish relatives: evil should be extinghuished from the start. Finally, the Royal Law of November, 15 1938- XVII integrated and coordinated in a single text the rules for the defense of race in Italian schools. They were hard rules, which, among other things, separated Jewish children in special sections of the school “in places where the number was not less than ten children”, and forbade Jewish adults to obtain the license to teach at university and to become members “of academies, institutes and associations of science, literature and arts. In 1939 Il Duce also established that Jews could not be teachers, notary public, and journalist, and were established special sets of rules for the other professions.
Il Duce's Explorer: The Adventures of Giuseppe Tucci and Italian Policy in the Orient from Mussolini to Andreotti. With the Correspondence of Giulio Andreotti, v. 1 is out!
Those of you who pursue studies in the History of Religions, Italian History, Tibetan Buddhism, History of Asian Art, International Politics, Asian Archaeology – and those of you who would like to know a bit more on Giuseppe Tucci, the visits of Gandhi, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tagore, and Subhas Chandra Bose in Italy, and Italian Fascism in India, Afghanistan, and Japan – may wish to read the book just published Il Duce’s Explorer. The Adventures of Giuseppe Tucci and Italian Policy in the Orient from Mussolini to Andreotti. With the Correspondence of Giulio Andreotti, authored by Enrica Garzilli.
This is the 1st out of 9 volumes. This book is the revised and enlarged translation of the omonimous Italian book (1st ed. Memori-Asiatica, Aug. 2012; 3rd ed. April 2014). I want to thank Todd Portnowitz, the translator, who did an excellent job.
Here is a description of the book and a Table of Contents.
When the capital of Tibet was still the mythical “Forbidden City”, a mysterious destination for the most adventurous explorers, when Nepal was covered with forests and swamps, swarming with dangerous beasts and forbidden to foreigners, when Italy was ruled by the Fascist regime greedily eyeing potential colonial possessions in Asia, a learned and adventurous man, the perfect embodiment of that era’s virile ideals, entered places where no Western man had before set foot: crossing glittering peaks of snow, desolate deserts and ruins of ancient cities, constantly challenging himself, he discovered archaeological treasures from past civilizations.Even today, in the East as well as in the West, the name of this intrepid Italian explorer and insatiable researcher is cloaked in an aura of legend.
One could hardly imagine a richer and more exciting life than that of Giuseppe Tucci (1894-1984), the scholar who may quite rightly be considered one of the fathers of modern Oriental Studies and a central protagonist of Fascist cultural policy in Asia: from his first expeditions to the valleys of the Himalayas and the plains of the Ganges, to his diplomatic activity in Japan as spokesman for the Duce; from his encounters with scholars and leaders such as Gandhi, Tagore, the XIV Dalai Lama, Mircea Eliade and Giovanni Gentile, who was his great protector together with Giulio Andreotti, to the archaeological excavations in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran in more recent years; a human and intellectual adventure inextricably linked to the history of modern Italy, which he himself helped to forge.
An adventure that can be traced in the pages of this book, where the pace of a thrilling narrative combines with the scientific and historical reconstruction of the Fascist policy in Asia, and of Tucci’s precious creation, the powerful Italian Institute for the Middle and Far East. A history based on eyewitness accounts and historical documents, such as the original and unpublished correspondence between Tucci and Andreotti, Gandhi, Tagore, the XIV Dalai Lama, Mircea Eliade, Giovanni Gentile, the Raj Guru of Nepal, and the historian D. R. Regmi, and the previously unknown notes of Mussolini. An adventure retraced in the pages of this book that reads like an adventure novel.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME 1
1 Index of Maps in Volume 1
xxiii Index of Figures in Volume 1
xxv Preface to the English Edition
lxv Note on the Text
I From Youth to the First Voyage: Enlightened by the Buddha
In a few days Il Duce’s Explorer: The Adventures of Giuseppe Tucci and Italian Policy in the Orient from Mussolini to Andreotti. With the Correspondence of Giulio Andreotti should be out. Yesterday the graphic designer has finished the cover and today the whole book should go to the printer.
The book is the 1st out of 9 volumes and it’s the enlarged and revised English translation of the Italian book L’Esploratore del Duce. In this version I have also added some 50 original photos.
The endorsement on the back cover has been written by Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit, Dept. of South Asian Studies, Harvard University, whom I thank.
I want also to thank Paul Arpaia, Professor of History at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and H-Italy Editor, Guglielmo Duccoli, Director of L’Illustrazione Italiana, and Sumit Guha, Professor of History at The University of Texas at Austin and H-Asia Editor, who have both written very flattery words on this book, which are included in the first page after the inside front cover. All the above mentioned scholars have also read the Italian book.
As Italy takes up arms and Mussolini sets his eye on supplanting the British Crown – a fact elegantly and rigorously uncovered by Garzilli in these pages – Giuseppe Tucci manages to maneuver his way through the treacherous landscapes of the Himalayas and of Fascist politics to emerge as the country’s foremost scholar and archaeologist of the Orient. His achievement is monumental, and Garzilli’s monumental biography brings him joyously to life, through archival documents, personal letters, travelogues, lectures, interviews, articles, photographs, films, and her own tireless travels. Here is a hunt in search of a hunter. (Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit, Dept. of South Asian Studies, Harvard University)
These are the plaques of the library in San Polo dei Cavalieri, near Rome, where Tucci lived his last years together with his third wife Francesca Bonardi. Here in 1984 he left his earthly body.
(Ph. courtesy Andrea Moi)
Back in 2007, long before I published the first biography on Tucci, L’esploratore del Duce (1st ed. 2012), I watched the movie Youth Without Youth, written and directed here in Milan by F. Ford Coppola
I found the film, and still do, to be very moving. It is a reworking of a novel, of the same name, by the Romanian historian of religion, Mircea Eliade. The film features Dominique Matei as its central protagonist (and indeed, the English translation and the introduction of the novel was written by Matei Calinescu) and is a true glorification of the Oriental disciplines. What’s amazing is that the girlfriend of Dominique, after undergoing shock, begins to speak Sanskrit. And who do they call in as an interpreter? Giuseppe Tucci himself—a friend, in real life, of Mircea Eliade.
In Youth without Youth, Tucci is defined as the highest authority of European Sanskrit and Buddhist philosophy—which indeed was the case. He was also presented as the president of IsMEO—which, though its doors are now shut, was at time of the film (in the mid-to-late 1930s) quite prosperous and active.
In truth, the founder and president of the powerful institute of IsMEO was Senator Giovanni Gentile, until his murder in April 1944, by a partisan group. Tucci, instead, served as its executive vice president, until his purge and the compulsory administration of the institute, in 1944. In fact IsMEO and Rome had been elected by the Duce as the “spiritual and ideal guide of Italy and the world.” This is the reason why I call Tucci the explorer, scholar and political “Indiana Jones” of Mussolini.