Keywords: Fascist State; Institutional System; Italian Society.
In 2018, the historiography on Fascism was enriched with an important book concerning the structure and the working of the Italian State under Mussolini’s regime: “La macchina imperfetta. Immagine e realtà dello Stato fascistaµ, by Guido Melis. This review article tries to focus on the main issues of the volume, framing it in the historiographic debate and evaluating its contribution to the knowledge of the significance of Fascist experience in the Italian institutional history. To this aim, the analysis deals with some themes in particular: the composition of the state apparatus and its mixture with the Fascist party; the running of the decision-making system and the role of Mussolini; the elements of continuity and rupture between Liberal and Fascist Italy; the relationships between the centre and the periphery of the institutional framework, between public and private spheres, between political power and socio-economic interests.