Angelica Balabanoff became a dedicated socialist out of her deep concern for the lives of working class men and women. She travelled in Europe and studied at the Free University of Brussels. She worked with the future Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who was a socialist exile in Switzerland, before returning to Russia in 1917. However, after serving as secretary of the Communist International in 1919, she became disillusioned with Communism and was removed from her position. She spent many years warning the public of the dangers of fascism. She left Russia in 1922, and spent the interwar years in Paris and Vienna. She took refuge in the USA during World War II and settled in Rome afterwards. She published her autobiography, My Life as a Rebel (1938), as well as Impressions of Lenin (1934) and The Traitor: Benito Mussolini and the "Conquest" of Power (1942–3). She also wrote poetry in Russian, English, French, German, and Italian.