The Pike: Gabriele d’Annunzio, Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War

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HarperCollins Publishers, Jan 17, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 704 pages

WINNER OF THE 2013 SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION

WINNER OF THE 2013 DUFF COOPER PRIZE

WINNER OF THE POLITICAL BOOK AWARDS POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY OF THE YEAR 2014

WINNER OF THE 2013 COSTA BOOK AWARDS BIOGRAPHY OF THE YEAR

The story of Gabriele D’Annunzio, poet, daredevil – and Fascist.

In September 1919 Gabriele D’Annunzio, successful poet and occasional politician, declared himself Commandante of the city of Fiume in modern day Croatia. His intention – to establish a utopia based on his fascist and artistic ideals. It was the dramatic pinnacle to an outrageous career.

Lucy Hughes-Hallett charts the controversial life of D’Annunzio, the debauched artist who became a national hero. His evolution from idealist Romantic to radical right-wing revolutionary is a political parable. Through his ideological journey, culminating in the failure of the Fiume endeavour, we witness the political turbulence of early 20th century Europe and the emergence of fascism.

In The Pike, Hughes-Hallett addresses the cult of nationalism and the origins of political extremism – and at the centre of the book stands the charismatic D’Annunzio: a figure as deplorable as he is fascinating.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stephengoldenberg - LibraryThing

A fascinating history of a fascinating and little known man. The book is very cleverly and entertainingly structured, not a straight chronological telling of his life. It gives a chilling insight into ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

A sprawling portrait of a singularly bizarre individual; d'Annunzio, by all rights, should have been in disgrace and shunned a hundred times over before World War I for his sexual and financial ... Read full review

About the author (2013)

Lucy Hughes-Hallett is the author of Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions which was published in 1990 to wide acclaim, and Heroes: Saviours, Traitors and Supermen, published in 2004, which garnered similar praise. Cleopatra won the Fawcett Prize and the Emily Toth Award. Lucy Hughes-Hallett reviews for the Sunday Times. She lives in London.

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