This book is the first biography of one the main explorers of Asia in the 20th century, the Italian Giuseppe Tucci (1894-1984). He was a famous explorer of Nepal, the main Tibet explorer in the first half of the 20th century, a (still) leading scholar on Buddhist Tibet, and also a cultural promoter and a politician-diplomat.
He built up the cultural politics of Italian Fascism in India, doing propaganda work for Mussolini. He led 8 expeditions to Tibet (1927-1948) and 5 or 6 to Nepal, always hunting for ancient manuscripts, for pieces of arts and for archaeological treasures. He brought home one of the world's largest collections of manuscripts in ancient Sanskrit and Tibetan, a collection of ancient thangkas (Buddhist painted scrolls), and various invaluable archeological treasures. He was also very charismatic, and although not tall and not particularly handsome, he was a well known womanizer. He was a real treasure hunter, Indiana Jones-like.
This is the first message that I would like the book cover to convey: the sense of adventure and romance of this “treasure hunter”.
His history is also closely linked to that of Fascist Italy and the politics of Mussolini in Asia (especially in India, Afghanistan, Japan). In the book I also demonstrate through documents that Mussolini wanted to “take possession” of India, replacing the British Crown rule with Italy. The second message the cover should convey is this feeling of history, as this is mainly a "serious" history book about Tucci, and the history of Fascism in Asia.
The book is on Tucci “adventures” as explorer, scholar and politician, and on other public figures of the time who protected him or whom he worked with (Nobel laureate Tagore, Giovanni Gentile, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, whom he met in Tibet in 1948, etc.). The book is thus also a picture of the time: the history and personages of Fascism, of colonial India, of Tibet, and Japan before the Second World War, and of Italy after the fall of Fascism until the 1970s.
On the cover I want a large title and a much smaller subtitle, and I'd love to have one or part of one of the supplied original pictures that shows Tucci, as a background, even in outline or modified by the designer. I also want the cover to convey the feeling of treasure hunting, and of expeditions in a pristine natural environment, with warm colors such as shades of reds of the Asian soil and greens to remind plants, white of the mountains, blunt warm colors of Tibetan Buddhism (his “hot love” was Tibet). The cover should be catchy and contemporary, yet still retain a sense of a vintage, 1930s and 40s Italian style. If possible, I would like to include a hint of Buddhist theme (chosen among photos).
The book is very long and is divided into 2 volumes, and each of them will carry the same cover with the addition of the book number ("book I", "book II").
To sum it up, this is a history book that contains adventure, history, some light romance, some mystery (Jungian psychology and esotericism), shorter histories of important personages in relationship with him, interviews, and a thick critical apparatus for scholars: footnotes, an index including short biographies of all the characters mentioned in the books, a thick bibliography, and archive documents. The main character is very charismatic, a real leader, and also smart and Machiavellian. He would be perfect for an adventure movie like "Indiana Jones" or "Seven Years in Tibet".
Style of the cover: I fictionalize history, therefore should be the same. The setting is mainly authoritarian countries in the years preceding the Second World War: Italy, Nepal, Tibet, India, Pakistan. The intended readership is young adult to mature adult with a high-school to university degree, history scholars, religion scholars, Buddhist scholars and believers, Tibet scholars, Asia scholars, scholars of International relations, journalists, and alpinism lovers. The audience at the moment is limited to Italian readers, but there is a large interest among college and university professors in the United States for the amount of research material included. My next step is to publish the book in English for the United States, with Britain as the second leading market. The cover should look nice on the Web, too, since I already have a large online newspaper readership, and the book will be sold on the Internet.
Examples of fascist typography
Fascist inspired typefaces
The best one is Mostra Nuova, not free but reasonably cheap
A not perfect but possibly tolerable free font is Fiesta
The book title is:
L'esploratore del Duce
Le avventure di Giuseppe Tucci e la politica italiana in Oriente da Mussolini a Andreotti
Publishers (shown on the spine):
The cover will also state the volume number, in Italian:
Format is Lulu's A4 size.
Lulu cover sizes: http://connect.lulu.com/t5/Cover-Fo…ta-p/33338