Mussolini, Benito

[ (mooh-suh-lee-nee, moos-uh-lee-nee) ]

An Italian dictator (see dictatorship) of the twentieth century. Mussolini formed a fascist (see fascism) government in Italy in the 1920s and allied Italy with Germany as one of the Axis powers of World War II. Mussolini, known as il Duce (“the leader”), was shot by his Italian opponents near the end of the war.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.