Italy and the Approach of the First World War by Richard Bosworth (auth.)

By Richard Bosworth (auth.)

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This forfeiting of 'every shred of dignity by seeking rewards without fighting for them' was largely responsible for the disasters to come at the Treaty of Versailles and under Fascism. 16 But Albertini's conclusions must be seen in relation to his own politics. An anti-Fascist, he was dismissed in 1925 from the post of direttore of the Milan newspaper, Corriere della Sera, after Fascist interventionY It was then that he turned his mind to history. However, Albertini's career had already been a long and distinguished one.

In July-August 1914, San Giuliano spent much of his time pumping information out of the neurotic German ambassador, Hans von Flotow, with whom he was sharing the same hotel at Fiuggi, a spa in the hills south of Rome. Foreign ambassadors, too, were often attracted by the delights of 'bella ltalia'. Sir James Rennell Rodd, the British ambassador, 1908-19, was slow to realise the seriousness of the July crisis because, as a prelude to his summer holidays, he was then touring the towns of Tuscany in search of art treasures.

After the humiliating defeat ofltalian arms by the Ethiopians at Adowa in March 1896, a defeat which also indicated Italy's complete lack of worthwhile friends and patrons among the Great Powers, Italian diplomacy in July passed into the hands of the Marchese Emilio di Visconti Venosta. Visconti Venosta, born in 1829, had been personally involved in the Risorgimento, first with Mazzini, and later as Cavour's contact with Garibaldi. An aristocrat, THE MAKING OF FOREIGN POLICY 35 he was the lineal heir of Cavour and had been four times Foreign Minister in early Italian governments in 1863-4, 1866-7 and 186976.

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