The Darkest Side of the Fascist Years: The Italian-Canadian Press: 1920-1942


272 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55071-083-4
DDC 071'.1'0897





Reviewed by John Stanley

John Stanley is a policy advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and


The author of this fascinating and substantial history, a professor at
the University of Toronto, explores the influence of Fascism on three
Italian-Canadian newspapers (one each in Montreal, Toronto, and
Vancouver), an exploration that serves as the foundation of his overview
of the Italian government’s attempts to impose the will of il Duce on
Italians abroad.

While the Italian consuls’ attempts to lead Italian-Canadians to the
right met with limited success in the 1920s, by the 1930s much of the
Italian-Canadian community saw cooperation (or even collaboration) with
Rome’s Fascist government as inevitable. Mussolini’s policy of
equating “Italian” with “Fascist” was for the most part well
received by Canada’s Italian population. The author gives particular
attention to the treatment of anti-Semitism in this community’s press
organs. Principe’s book clearly demonstrates that the most important
Italian-Canadian community organizations were co-opted by—and
eventually turned into the tools of—Italy’s Fascist government.
Those community leaders who became collaborators of Mussolini were sent
to internment camps after Italy declared war on the British Empire in
1940. In the camps, many continued their fascist activities.

The Darkest Side of the Fascist Years should be read by all historians
of Canada, not just those interested in multiculturalism and local


Principe, Angelo., “The Darkest Side of the Fascist Years: The Italian-Canadian Press: 1920-1942,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 17, 2024,