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Carlo Rosselli (1899-1937) was a charismatic and influential European antifascist intellectual. Born into a wealthy Jewish family, and abandoning a promising career as a professor of political economics, he devoted his considerable fortune and ultimately his life to the struggle against fascism. In 1925 he was instrumental in establishing the first underground antifascist newspaper. While imprisoned for his subversive political activities, he wrote his magnum opus, "Liberal Socialism", arguing that socialism was the logical development of the principle of liberty. In this biography, Stanislao Pugliese interweaves the strands of heresy, exile and tragedy in Rosselli's life.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674000537
ISBN-10: 0674000536
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 155mm x 26mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Dec-1999
Country of Publication: United States

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A scholarly biography of the prominent Italian antifascist intellectual, writer, and activist who was stabbed to death by political assassins in 1937. As many as 200,000 people attended the funeral services for Rosselli in Paris. But today, as Pugliese notes, Rosselli (a "prophet crying out in the wilderness") is so little known outside his native land that this is the first biography of him in English. Pugliese (history/Hofstra Univ.) brings to this admiring portrait a formidable variety of tools, including a thorough knowledge of Italian history, language, literature, and landscape. After a brief introduction, the book proceeds chronologically from Rosselli's birth in 1899 (his father was a musicologist; his mother a playwright); follows him as he studies, marries, becomes a professor of political economy at Bocconi University in Milan; describes and assesses his increasing hatred for Mussolini's fascist government; and details his associations with fellow political radicals, his arrests and imprisonment, his increasing involvements in antifascist organizations and publications, and his exile to France. Most engaging for general readers will be Pugliese's accounts of Rosselli's activism: his fistfight with a pack of fascists in the streets of Milan, his motorboat escape from the island prison of Lipari, his battlefield exploits during the Spanish Civil War, his participation in various attempts to assassinate Mussolini, and his 1934 meeting with Trotsky (who "appeared conservative" to Rosselli). Pugliese's primary focus, however, is on Rosselli's intellectual evolution, and though social historians may delight in his many detailed exegeses of Rosselli's writings as he endeavors to establish his hero's place in intellectual history, the uninitiate may be bemused, if not baffled, to read, in a fairly typical passage, that Rosselli was "ideologically positioned (not trapped) between Antonio Gramsci and Piero Gobetti." Pugliese's research is impeccable, though this important work at times demands of nonspecialist readers an uncommon erudition. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Stanislao G. Pugliese

Stanislao G. Pugliese is Professor of Modern European History at Hofstra University.

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