Dr. Joel Blatt, an associate professor of European History at the UConn-Stamford campus, traces his passion for history to historical novels he read as a young boy. That passion deepened during his years as an undergraduate at Cornell University, when two history professors, Edward Whiting Fox, who specialized in European history and Walter LaFeber, who focused on American foreign relations — inspired him to follow in their footsteps. In addition, he was influenced profoundly in Graduate School at the University of Rochester by Professor A. William Salomone, who taught Italian and European history.
He considers teaching a “constant search to understand more” and enjoys the spontaneity of the classroom where he never knows what questions his students will ask and where his interchanges with them will lead the discussion.
A four-time recipient of the UConn Stamford Campus Outstanding Teacher Award, Dr. Blatt teaches Modern Western Traditions and Personality and Power in the 20th Century, which focuses on European leaders Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, noted anti-fascist Carlo Rosselli, and John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis. He also co-teaches a course on the Holocaust.
Areas of Expertise (4)
Conflicts and Cooperation with other Nations
Mindset of Nation
Ohio State University: Ph.D., Japanese History
This study draws attention to the intensity of the conflict between Carlo Rosselli and Giustizia e Libertà (the Italian liberal‐socialist anti‐Fascist organization) and the highest ranks of Italian Fascism, including Mussolini and OVRA ‐ the Fascist secret police ‐between 1933 and 1936. The activities of Rosselli and Giustizia e Libertà can be considered in the light of their secret attempts to organize the assassination of Mussolini and their efforts to disseminate broader anti‐Fascist sentiment in Italy. The militants of Giustizia e Libertà in Turin were key figures in the second of these operations. But the success of agents of OVRA in infiltrating Giustizia e Libertà resulted in three waves of arrests in Turin (in 1934, 1935 and 1936). However, Rosselli and GL showed a great capacity for recovery. By focusing on the struggle between Giustizia e Libertà and Fascism which had all the features of a civil war, and on the events in Turin in the period 1933–6, this research shows that the conflict between Fascism and anti‐Fascism was a central feature of the history of Italian Fascism even at the height of the regime's power. The article also offers a specific but incomplete study of the activities of OVRA. Since many of the members of Giustizia e Libertà in Turin were Jews, it also shows how OVRA's efforts to dismantle Giustizia e Libertà in Turin were closely linked to Mussolini's first anti‐Semitic campaign in 1934.