Item description for The Ciano Diaries, 1939 - 1943: The Complete, Unabridged Diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, 1936-1943 by Galeazzo Ciano, Hugh Gibson & Sumner Welles...
An insider's look into wartime diplomacy in Europe, through Mussolini's foreign minister's confidential diaries that were secreted out of Italy after Ciano's execution in 1943.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 6" Height: 8.75" Weight: 2.2 lbs.
Publisher Simon Publications
ISBN 1931313741 ISBN13 9781931313742
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Ciano Diaries, 1939 - 1943: The Complete, Unabridged Diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, 1936-1943?
Great primary source for World War 2 Feb 22, 2007
Ciano's Diaries are an invaluable resource to scholars who want to study the diplomacy of the Nazi's and Italy in World War 2. For those who are just causal readers of history these diaries will probably not be of interest. For the scholars of Europe they are essential. These are great and honest reports of what Italy under Mussolini was thinking. Ciano's second set of diaries paints the dark days of World War 2 for Italy and how the regime was on the brink of collapsing. Ciano himself would be executed as a traitor by the end but he and a small group worked to preserve Italy. The diplomatic maneuverings between the Germans, Russians and the Allies are captured here in unabashed detail making for interesting reading. For those who want to understand the diplomatic realties of World War 2 this is essential.
A must-read for WWII buffs... Jun 26, 2006
I had been wanting to read Count Ciano's Diaries for years because I kept seeing quotations from them in all sorts of books on the period. They did not disappoint! Count Ciano had a front row seat to the whole show. Well, up until early '43 when the Nazis shot him... It truly is an amazing perspective on the war. Ciano vacillates between fear and admiration for the Nazis, as their fortunes run hot and cold. He pouts when Hitler does things behind the backs of the Italians, yet he gleefully acknowledges every time the Italians attempt to pay the Nazis back in their own coin. It's stunning to see how completely incompetent the Italians were in military affairs, and how incapable they were of reversing their fortunes. They stuck with much of the same military leadership throughout the conflict, despite their constant bumbling. More than anything it was a text that had me questioning why the Axis could be so stupid as to extend a war that they hadn't won. After the fall of France those must have been heady days for the Axis leadership. The world stretched before them. You really get a sense of this reading the diaries. Yet Hitler attacks the Soviet Union with the UK at his back. Inconceivable! Even Mussolini attacks Greece when he had more fighting than he could handle in the sands of Egypt. Looking back it takes your breath away. What if these guys hadn't pushed their luck way too far?
A Historically and Politically important work Feb 13, 2003
There are very few published writings by those that sat in positions of power during the period leading up to and during the Second World War that are of this personal and telling nature. This is the great difference between Ciano's Diary and the writing of the defeated or victorious from this time. Ciano was not looking back and writing in an attempt to absolve himself of his role nor was he allowing the glow of victory to taint his recollection of events. These sometimes seemingly shallow entries in his personal diary can allow us to view events of unfathomable consequence from his seat and without the ideological raging or gossamer thin excuses and attempts at self absolution of many other works; Albert Speer being a prime example of the latter; written by politicians or those that held office at this time. To read this Diary in search of ideological or moral answers would be misdirected but to study this Diary and gain insight into Ciano, Mussolini and the machinations and power struggles of what was in reality a far from stable Dictatorship with an often tenuous alliance with Hitler's Reich would be to serve yourself well. This is a work that no scholar of Politics or History should overlook.
Rather pointless exercise... Oct 21, 2002
This diary has little interest: no political analysis and no view on military affairs... obviously Ciano and the rest of the Italian government and military have no clue about what's happening around them. They keep saying stupidly: 'this war is going to be long'. Needless to say, not a world of moral or ethical judgment.
Most entries are criticism of some inept Italian General (too fat, and dyes his hair !), complaints about the Germans , or complaints about Albanians stealing silver cutlery at official dinners. Admittedly there is some emotion after 1942 when they start to realize that everything is going wrong, but the psychological analysis is very shallow (Ciano merely notes the 'depressed' mood of everybody after 1942). Nothing about Ciano's personal life in Rome's upper class, which would probably have been more interesting.
For a clever (too clever ?) Italian view of the war, read Kaputt, by Curzio Malaparte.
Offers great historical insight Feb 23, 2002
Written as personal diary, this book offers a keen insight into the events leading to World War II. Count Ciano, Mussolini's son-in-law, served as his foreign minister. Ciano opposed Italy's participation in the war and disliked Hitler. Yet Ciano also has his share of faults and moments of poor judgement. Undoutedly one of the most honest books from the period. The editing is often uneven. Some material contained is trite. The last entry, when Ciano knows he willbe executed by the Fascist puppet state, is quite moving.