As one of the most noteworthy scholars in the history of the Oriental Studies of the past century, Giuseppe Tucci (1894-1984) was unquestionably a protagonist of the Italian twentieth-century culture, among the few who knew how to conjugate the breadth of the theoretical research, in the Indological and Tibetological fields, with an extraordinary intelligence, made concrete with the foundation of the Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente and in planning a conspicuous series of the expeditions in Asia. Based on a vast amount of the unpublished material, this volume aims to reconstruct Tucci’s biographical and intellectual itinerary not solely with the aim of highlighting the complexity and importance of his works, but also ― and above all ― to demonstrate to what extent his intellectual figure fits into a wider and longer-term perspective and, in particular, in the peculiar context of the history of the twentieth-century Italy. One of the most intriguing problems in the scholar’s entire biographical story is doubtless his relationship with Fascism, which it is expedient to dwell on in order to understand the ways and forms of his collaboration with the regime’s cultural politics. In its attempt to go beyond the limited vision of Tucci as an orientalist and explorer of the far-off worlds, this biography thus aims at restoring to the scholar the importance he deserves in the overall history of the Italian twentieth-century, a history in which he held a crucial significance and played a role of the first order, which, with its light and shadows, are totally his.

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