Coming October 2019
Whoever you are, you are sure to be a severe critic of Fascism, and you must feel the servile shame. But even you are responsible for your inaction. Do not seek to justify yourself with the illusion that there is nothing to be done. That is not true. Every person of courage and honour is quietly working for a free Italy. Even if you do not want to join us, there are still TEN THINGS which you can do. You can, and therefore you must.
These unsayable words, printed on leaflets that rained down on Mussolini’s headquarters in the heart of Rome at the height of the dictator’s power, drive the central drama of Possess the Air. This is the story of freedom fighters who defied Italy’s despot by opposing the rising tide of populism and xenophobia. Chief among them: poet and aviator Lauro de Bosis, firstborn of an Italian aristocrat and a New Englander, who transformed himself into a modern Icarus and amazed the world as he risked his life in the skies to bring Il Duce down. Taras Grescoe’s inspiring story of resistance, risk, and sacrifice paints a portrait of heroes in the fight against authoritarianism. This is an essential biography for our time.
Praise for Taras Grescoe
“Taras Grescoe has fallen hard for the ‘the wicked old Paris of the Orient,’ its barrooms thick with gangsters and newsmen, its alleys ‘scented with sweet almond broth, opium smoke and the chemical bite of Flit insecticide’ . . . Shanghai Grand is a headlong swoon for old Shanghai. The feeling is easy to catch.” —New York Times Book Review
“Filled with excellent short character sketches and keeps the reader turning the pages to find out what will happen next . . . Brings to life a special time and a special place.” —Wall Street Journal
“A keenly observant, sometimes soulful portrait . . . of China’s political and social realities during that tumultuous period in its history. . . . A wonderful book.” —Publishers Weekly
“Grescoe exuberantly captures the glamour and intrigue of a lost world.” —Kirkus Reviews