Piccoli lettori per una grande guerra: letture patriottiche per la scuola tra il 1915 e il 1920
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As part of the celebrations for the Centenary of the Great War, there have been many initiatives aimed at examining, in addition to the historical aspects, the consequences that the First World War has had on the society and culture of the 20th century. A curious theme, but often neglected, is the propaganda addressed to child audience. Children’s indoctrination is essential to dominate the public opinion and to keep the internal front. In Italy, as in the rest of Europe, in the years preceding the conflict and during the war, books and novels, but also magazines, comics and nursery rhymes help to educate young people to national conscience and values, spreading the image of a just war to which everyone, including children, must contribute. The article examines the mechanisms of propaganda aimed at elementary and middle school students starting from the publishing project Italia nostra! Forte sulle tue Alpi, libera nei tuoi mari, edited by Salvatore Biondo between 1915 and 1920 and articulated in a series of patriotic volumes, now almost impossible to find, to which they co-wrote, among others, Cosimo Bertacchi, Luigi di San Giusto (Luisa Macina Gervasio) and an unsuspecting Barbara Allason.