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Italian anarchism, 1864-1892

by Nunzio Pernicone

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Historians have frequently portrayed Italian anarchism as a marginal social movement that was doomed to succumb to its own ideological contradictions once Italian society modernized. Challenging such conventional interpretations, Nunzio Pernicone provides a sympathetic but critical treatment of Italian anarchism that traces the movement's rise, transformation, and decline from 1864 to 1892. Based on original archival research, his book depicts the anarchists as unique and fascinating revolutionaries who were an important component of the Italian socialist left throughout the nineteenth century and beyond. Anarchism in Italy arose under the influence of the Russian revolutionary Bakunin, triumphed over Marxism as the dominant form of early Italian socialism, and supplanted Mazzinianism as Italy's revolutionary vanguard. After forming a national federation of the Anti-Authoritarian International in 1872, the Italian anarchists attempted several insurrections, but their organization was suppressed. By the 1880s the movement had become atomized, ideologically extreme, and increasingly isolated from the masses. Its foremost leader, Errico Malatesta, attempted repeatedly to revitalize the anarchists as a revolutionary force, but internal dissension and government repression stifled every resurgence and plunged the movement into decline. Even after their exclusion from the Italian Socialist Party in 1892, the anarchists remained an intermittently active and influential element on the Italian socialist left. As such, they continued to be feared and persecuted by every Italian government. Originally published in 1993. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.… (more)
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A worthy companion piece to Bookchin's "The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years 1868 to 1936." This gives a great overview of the early Italian Anarchist movement, delves with a lot of issues the anarchists faced (attempted & failed insurrections, splits among the movement around whether to participate in elections, etc.) as well as a lot of great coverage on the well-known Italian anarchist Malatesta. ( )
  emptyw | Sep 30, 2011 |
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Historians have frequently portrayed Italian anarchism as a marginal social movement that was doomed to succumb to its own ideological contradictions once Italian society modernized. Challenging such conventional interpretations, Nunzio Pernicone provides a sympathetic but critical treatment of Italian anarchism that traces the movement's rise, transformation, and decline from 1864 to 1892. Based on original archival research, his book depicts the anarchists as unique and fascinating revolutionaries who were an important component of the Italian socialist left throughout the nineteenth century and beyond. Anarchism in Italy arose under the influence of the Russian revolutionary Bakunin, triumphed over Marxism as the dominant form of early Italian socialism, and supplanted Mazzinianism as Italy's revolutionary vanguard. After forming a national federation of the Anti-Authoritarian International in 1872, the Italian anarchists attempted several insurrections, but their organization was suppressed. By the 1880s the movement had become atomized, ideologically extreme, and increasingly isolated from the masses. Its foremost leader, Errico Malatesta, attempted repeatedly to revitalize the anarchists as a revolutionary force, but internal dissension and government repression stifled every resurgence and plunged the movement into decline. Even after their exclusion from the Italian Socialist Party in 1892, the anarchists remained an intermittently active and influential element on the Italian socialist left. As such, they continued to be feared and persecuted by every Italian government. Originally published in 1993. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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