Gaetano Salvemini: antifascism in thought and action
Abbreviated Journal Title
J. Mod. Ital. Stud.
Salvemini; Rosselli; revisionism; fascism; antifascism; communism; exiles; ITALIAN FASCISM; DEFELICE, RENZO; History
Decades of historical revisionism of fascism and exploitation by the Italian press and politicians have distorted the careers of a generation of exiled Italian antifascists and devalued their work. One feature of the distortion has been to tie these democratic political activists uncritically to the communist armed Resistance and thus to dismiss the exiles after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the demise of the Italian Communist Party, and the depreciation of the founding myth of the Republic 'born of the Resistance'. The exiles themselves are partly responsible for contributing to this misunderstanding by failing to clarify their differences with Stalinism, particularly as Carlo Rosselli moved the Paris-based antifascist organization Giustizia e Liberta to the left in the mid-1930s. Gaetano Salvemini's opposition to Rosselli's repositioning of Giustizia e Liberta illustrates merely one dimension of the diversity within the antifascist movement, and Salvemini's American career provides a useful case within the broader context of the exile experience. The exiles debated the nature of fascism, ideal strategies for defeating the regime-including their relationship with communists-and the shape of postfascist Italy. In their attempt to understand the fascist phenomenon, Salvemini and Rosselli developed the initial strains of non-Marxist, antifascist historiography, which eventually won an important place in postwar culture until recently displaced by waves of revisionism. And while opposing all forms of authoritarianism, Salvemini articulated fundamental premises of democratic antifascism that helped shape the republican constitution.
Journal of Modern Italian Studies
"Gaetano Salvemini: antifascism in thought and action" (2010). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 355.