The year 1975 was crucial for the Italian historiography about Fascism. In particular, the publication of Renzo De Felice’s book On Fascism animated the discussion. The document published here is the yet unpublished review of De Felice’s book that George Mosse wrote both as a thanksgiving for the high esteem of his work the biographer of Mussolini had expressed in the introduction to the Italian edition of The nationalization of the masses and as a defense of his friend’s work, whose new methodology in the study of Fascism was receiving violent criticism in Italy while it was by now widely accepted in international research. In the review, Mosse asserted that, in order to really understand Fascism, it was necessary to deal with it as De Felice did, i.e. freeing themselves from reassuring illusions and looking at it in its historical reality. Despite the existence of a few points of disagreement with De Felice, Mosse concluded his review frontally attacking the detractors of De Felice with the argument that being anti-Fascists in 1975 meant exactly to work as De Felice did. The document helps reconstructing an intense historical debate and the intense scientific friendship between Mosse and De Felice.
Keywords: George L. Mosse, Renzo De Felice, Fascism, National Socialism, history of historiography, Seventy years