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Unformatted text preview: Italy had entered World War II in June 1940, on the side of Nazi Germany; the two countries formed a union known as the Axis (later joined by Japan). Benito Mussolini ( Il Duce, "the leader") was head of the Italian Fascist Party and the country's dictator. His military preparations were inept, however, and King Victor Emmanuel dismissed Mussolini on July 25, 1943, aligning the official government with the Allies who were in the process of invading southern Italy. (This act of diplomacy reminds the reader of the philosophy of the old man who argues with Nately at the brothel, in Rome, in Chapter 23 of the novel.) The Allies were then opposed primarily by German troops in Italy. Despite its setting in World War II, it is important to remember that Catch-22 was written in the 1950s. This was a decade of considerable repression in America, exemplified by a U.S. senator from Wisconsin named Joseph Raymond McCarthy. The loyalty oaths and political paranoia in the novel Wisconsin named Joseph Raymond McCarthy....
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- Fall '11