Although Italians had migrated to Australia since the middle of the nineteenth century, it was not until the 1920s that they became aware that they were a community in a foreign land, not just isolated individuals in search of fortune. Their political, cultural, economic and recreational associations became an important factor. Many of them, although settled in Australia, still thought of themselves as an appendage of Italy, a belief strengthened by Fascism's nationalist propaganda which urged them to reject alien cultures, customs and traditions. The xenophobic hostility shown by some Australians greatly contributed to the success of these propaganda efforts. Moreover, the issue of Fascism in Italy was a contentious one among Italians in Australia, a large minority fighting with courage and determination against Fascism's representatives in Australia. This broad study of Italian immigrants before and during World War II covers not only the effects of Fascism, but also records the ordeal of Italian settlers in the cities and the outback during the Depression and the difficulties they faced after the outbreak of the war. It deals with a subject that has long been neglected by scholars and is an important contribution to the history of Italian migrants in Australia.