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Let Our Music Be Played: Italian Jewish Musicians and Composers under Fascism. Edited by Alessandro Carrieri and Annalisa Capristo. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. 2021.

Reviewed by Jesse Rosenberg

The last twenty years have witnessed significant developments in scholarship concerning antisemitism in Italy during the ventennio, the twenty-year period of Fascist rule (1923-1943). Thanks to historians such as Michele Sarfatti and Giorgio Fabre, the benign view which had hitherto prevailed with regard to the antisemitic laws promulgated by the Fascist government in 1938 — that these were adapted without conviction, in adherence to the dictates of a new alliance with Germany, and represented an unexpected about-face in the treatment of Italian Jews — have been definitively rebutted. The editors of this superlative collection of essays are aware of these newly-acquired insights (one of them, Annalisa Capristo, has co-authored an important book with Fabre), but also, to judge by the variety of approaches taken by the contributors to the book, equally cognizant of the complexities involved in applying these lessons to the field of music.

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