In the PartyParty Reads series, we investigate the reading habits of some of Europe’s most prominent leaders. Our goal is to learn about the books that influenced or are claimed to have influenced their ideologies, worldviews, and decision-making processes. Our first episode looked at the reading habits of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now, we turn to the ultimate reading list of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Italy’s leader, Giorgia Meloni, is a woman of many “firsts”. She is Italy’s first female Prime Minister. She is the first Prime Minister with post-fascist roots who leads Brothers of Italy – a far right party that keeps the tricolour flame of the post-World War II neo-fascist Italian Social Movement [MSI] party in its logo. Meloni is probably also the first leader of any country whose reading habits – about hobbits – spread like wildfire in the media, from The New York Times to Le Monde. For the international media, it was important to explain how Tolkien’s admittedly Christian world of evil versus good was utilised by Italy’s far right party, recreating its own identity within a loveable and morally inspiring universe.