The period from 1900 to 1945 was one of the most dramatic in Italian history. It embraced two world wars, the crisis of the liberal state, and the advent of a new form of dictatorship destined to leave an imprint on the whole history of Europe. It was also a period in which Italian economy and society began to undergo that process of transformation which led to the modern, industrialized Italy of today. Italian writers and artists responded creatively to change and the contribution to European culture of such figures as Croce, Gramsci, D'Annunzio, Pirandello, De Chirico, or the Futurists was one of primary importance. This volume discusses these developments in depth, paying particular attention to the social and moral conflicts resulting from modernization, war, and the impact of the totalitarian experiment of Fascism. The interaction between foreign and domestic policy is also explored. The final chapter considers three strands of cultural life: visual arts, literature, and social thought.