A riveting book: the principal question is how and why the Italian authorities during the Second World War protected the Jews in their zones of occupation, resisting the demands of their German allies. On the basis of archives and interviews, Steinberg, an Anglo-American historian, meticulously reconstructs a quiet Italian "conspiracy" but asks the deeper question as to why the authorities of one country would have behaved with surreptitious humanity while those in others engaged in compliant callousness. A major contribution also to an understanding of World War II, especially in regard to the warring parts of Yugoslavia and the horrendous brutality of the Croatians. Steinberg's tentative answers derive from his insight into Italian and German history and from his analysis of the structure and spirit of the fascist regimes. A masterpiece, modest in scope but deep in reflectiveness; by its restraint and wisdom it stands out among Holocaust studies.