By Gianluca Cinelli
Sport and politics are connected insofar as the latter provides the structural conditions to perform the former: laws, infrastructures, funding, and representation. There is one sombre aspect of this fortunate combination, namely when the political system is a dictatorship. This is the case investigated by Marco Ruzzi in his last book, Generazione Littoriali, in which he unfolds the story of how rugby was introduced to the Italian public and how it developed during the years of fascism and war.
Ruzzi’s book is remarkable in many aspects. The first is the richness of the information that the author provides about a sport that in Italy has occupied a niche, overshadowed by football and other specialities such as athletics or swimming, bicycle races, and Formula 1.