Weird History is a podcast focusing on out-of-the-way, obscure, weird, and forgotten corners of history, from Joe Streckert, an independent journalist in Portland, Oregon. New episodes appear on Thursdays.

Explore the Archives

120 Italian Fascism Part Nine, War With Ethiopia

It wasn’t enough for fascist Italy to adopt the rhetoric and imagery of ancient Rome, it also hoped to have a present-day empire. To do that Mussolini launched an invasion of a country that had defeated Italy in 1896: Ethiopia. […]

119 Italian Fascism Part Eight, Illusions of Empire

Italy’s fascist regime sought legitimacy by packaging itself as an extension of past Italian glory. Under Mussolini Italy “restored” numerous Roman, Renaissance, and medieval sites, and sought to tie in the glories of the present with those of the past. […]

118 Italian Fascism Part Seven, Meagan Zurn on Antonio Gramsci

This week’s episode is an interview with Meagan Zurn (or “Zee,” co-producer of The British History Podcast) about Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci was a socialist, journalist, and briefly a member of the Italian parliament before getting thrown in jail by Mussolini’s […]

117 Italian Fascism Part Six, Church and State

Italian fascism came to power (and solidified power) by co-opting existing political organizations and interests in Italy. That included the Catholic Church. Since Italian Unification the Church had been at odds with liberal Italy, and for fifty-nine years pope did […]

116 Italian Fascism Part Five, “All Within the State”

After Mussolini proclaimed dictatorship in January of 1925 fascist Italy became the first modern totalitarian state. The regime extended its power and influence to everything from the national and local government, to the press, to unions, and even to the […]

115 Italian Fascism Part Four, Voter Suppression and Murder

Following the March on Rome Mussolini and the fascists cemented their grasp on power via an electoral reform known as the Acerbo Law, voter suppression and intimidation in the 1924 election, and (possibly) by killing one of their biggest opponents, […]