Coming October 2019
The inspiring true story of political resistance in Mussolini’s Italy
Plunging readers into Fascist Rome at the height of Mussolini’s power, Possess the Air tells the story of three people who defied Italy’s authoritarian despot by opposing the rising tide of populism and xenophobia. Two Canadian archeologists, Gilbert Bagnani and his wife Mary Stewart Houston, maddened the self-styled Caesar, determined to dispel his claims that Rome was—and always would be—rightful master of the Mediterranean, while poet and aviator Lauro de Bosis, firstborn of an Italian aristocrat and a New Englander, transformed himself into a modern Icarus, amazing the world as he risked his life in the skies bring the dictator down. An inspiring story of resistance, risk, and sacrifice, Taras Grescoe’s portrait of heroes past 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