Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sawdust Caesar

The expression "sawdust Caesar" occurs in this clip from a 1945 newsreel on the execution of Benito Mussolini:
I hadn't heard that description of il Duce before. It comes from a 1935 book by George Seldes, Sawdust Caesar: The Untold History of Mussolini and Fascism. The book was completed in 1931 but publishers in England and then in France backed out of commitments. Many passages could be extracted verbatim from Sawdust Caesar to describe contemporary events. Here is a particularly apt example:

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