The Fiume Crisis recasts what we know about the birth of fascism, the rise of nationalism, and the fall of empire after World War I by telling the story of the three-year period when the Adriatic city of Fiume (today Rijeka, in Croatia) generated an international crisis. In 1919 the multicultural former Habsburg city was occupied by the paramilitary forces of the flamboyant poet-soldier Gabriele D’Annunzio, who aimed to annex the territory to Italy and became an inspiration to Mussolini. Many local Italians supported the effort, nurturing a standard tale of nationalist fanaticism. However, Dominique Kirchner Reill shows that practical realities, not nationalist ideals, were in the driver’s seat.
Dominique Kirchner Reill is Associate Professor of Modern European History at the University of Miami. Her first book, Nationalists Who Feared the Nation: Adriatic Multinationalism in Habsburg Dalmatia, Trieste, and Venice, received the 2014 Book Prize from the Center for Austrian Studies.
Tara Zahra is a professor of history at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the transnational history of modern Europe, migration, the family, nationalism, and humanitarianism.