Books: Il Duce's Volcano

BALCONY EMPIRE — Reynolds and Eleanor Packard—Oxford ($3).

After seven years of scanning Fascist Italy and its wars, United Press Correspondents Reynolds & Eleanor Packard locked themselves in a Manhattan hotel room one day last summer, asked themselves a question: "Why not make our second front in Italy?" By the time they had answered it to their own satisfaction, they had written this book.

The advantages of an Italian front, the Packards believe, are many. On their list, compiled when the U.S. invasion of North Africa was still a military code word:

>-"The great...

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