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
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.