"Desire of the Chamberlain government not to offend Mussolini's sensibilities" caused the recent banning of a review of his book, "Mussolini in the making," in London, Gaudens Megaro, tutor in History, charged in an interview yesterday.
Extracts of the book, printed in a recent issue of "News Review," an English weekly, resulted in the banning by the Federation of London Wholesale News Dealers of the entire issue of the news magazine in which they appeared.
"Mussolini has become extremely sensitive of late, almost effeminately so," Dr. Megaro said ironically, in explaining the almost unprecedented action by the British news dealers. "Perhaps those who associate Mussolini with transcendent power will doubtless be surprised by his sensitiveness to a work of mere scholarship".
The banned extract contained, Dr. Megaro revealed, a large quantity of previously suppressed information concerning the Italian dictator's early life and writings, which the Harvard tutor obtained and smuggled out of Italy in 1925-26 and 1932-33. The biography, he said, is an attempt to prevent the building of a new "Napoleonic Legend" by reconstructing a picture of Mussolini's early career while the facts are still obtainable and the picture not permanently distorted.
Book Scholarly Work
Although the book is primarily a scholarly work, Dr. Megaro fears that the publicity attendant upon the suppression of the excerpts may give the impression that he is attempting to produce a sensation.
In the Political Science Quarterly for June, 1936, Dr. Megaro had previously attacked as falsified and worthless a nine-volume collection of Mussolini's complete works, printed officially in Milan in 1936 and since translated into French, German, and Spanish.
Sent Notes From Italy
While gathering data for his own biography of Mussolini, Dr. Megaro sent his notes out of Italy every two days written on tissue paper to prevent the letters from being bulky. "I was rather concerned for 15 hours or so after each mailing he said, "but after that it was all right".
The biography, published by Houghten-Miffin, will appear in America May 10, the publishers have anounced.