Benedetto Croce was a philosopher, historian, politician and prominent Italian thinker. He wrote a large oeuvre in which logic, history, aesthetics, economics and ethics come together. His magnum opus is the four-volume Filosofia come scienza dello spirito (1902-1915). Croce was Education Minister for a brief spell, until Mussolini gained power in 1922. He defended intellectual freedom, also during and after the rise of Italian fascism, in works such as La storia come pensiero e come azione (1938).