Cover image for Carlo Rosselli : socialist heretic and antifascist exile
Title:
Carlo Rosselli : socialist heretic and antifascist exile
Author:
Pugliese, Stanislao G., 1965-
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xii, 309 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780674000537
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
HX289.7.R67 P84 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Carlo Rosselli (1899-1937) was one of the most charismatic and influential of European antifascist intellectuals. 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. After a daring escape, he made his way to Paris and became the driving force behind a new political movement, "Justice and Liberty." Rosselli was among the first to arrive in Barcelona after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, in which he commanded an armed column of volunteers in defense of the Republic. When Italian fascists discovered Rosselli's plot to assassinate Mussolini, they declared him the regime's most dangerous enemy and had him murdered, along with his brother, noted historian Nello Rosselli, on a country road in Normandy.

In this work, the first biography of Rosselli in English, Stanislao Pugliese skillfully interweaves the strands of heresy, exile, and tragedy in Rosselli's life. The drama and drive of his narrative enhance the scholarly contribution that this work makes to modern Italian history and to the study of European antifascism.


Summary

Carlo Rosselli (1899-1937) was one of the most charismatic and influential of European antifascist intellectuals. 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. After a daring escape, he made his way to Paris and became the driving force behind a new political movement, "Justice and Liberty." Rosselli was among the first to arrive in Barcelona after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, in which he commanded an armed column of volunteers in defense of the Republic. When Italian fascists discovered Rosselli's plot to assassinate Mussolini, they declared him the regime's most dangerous enemy and had him murdered, along with his brother, noted historian Nello Rosselli, on a country road in Normandy.

In this work, the first biography of Rosselli in English, Stanislao Pugliese skillfully interweaves the strands of heresy, exile, and tragedy in Rosselli's life. The drama and drive of his narrative enhance the scholarly contribution that this work makes to modern Italian history and to the study of European antifascism.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Carlo Rosselli (1899-1937) was arguably the leading Italian antifascist figure of the 1930s until his assassination. Pugliese, an assistant professor of history at Hofstra University, does an excellent job of showing how Rosselli took his responsibility as a public intellectual seriously. Rosselli was among the first to organize troops supporting the Spanish Republic against Franco; the organization he founded, Justice and Liberty, stood alone in taking fascism seriously and refusing to explain the phenomenon in terms of prefascist assumptions; his major work, Liberal Socialism, rejected Marxist "scientific socialism," arguing that "Socialism, grasped in its essential aspect, is the progressive actualization of the idea of liberty and justice among men.... It is the progressive effort to ensure an equal chance of living the only life worthy of the name to all humans." Attacked by orthodox thinkers on all sides, his ideasÄmostly articulated in underground periodicalsÄwere fresh, and were responsive to new developments. Rosselli attacked the ideological rigidity and blindness of orthodox Communists, the confusion of reformist socialists and the sterility of classical liberals who excused widespread poverty. He saw fascism as a moral sickness threatening all classes, and he aligned himself with the working class without ever romanticizing it. Pugliese provides a lucid account of political events, ideological disputes and clandestine resistance and brings the context of Rosselli's thinking to life. Illus. not seen by PW. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Pugliese's is the first English-language biography of this charismatic leader of the Italian antifascist movement. Born into a wealthy Jewish family in Rome in 1899, Rosselli was an ardent nationalist before World War I. After the war, he became involved with the Socialist movement and developed his own ideas of a "humanitarian socialism"Äa socialism that took the individual into account. Jailed for his subversive political activities, he escaped and went into exile in France. At the outbreak of the Civil War in Spain, he went to Barcelona to command an armed corps of volunteers. Eventually, the Italian government declared him an enemy of the regime and had him murdered. Drawing from letters and archives, Pugliese (history, Hofstra) reconstructs this important life capably. Recommended for academic collections with an interest in Italian history or a history of the Socialist movement.ÄRoseanne Castellino, Arthur D. Little, Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

A socialist in exile from his homeland, leader in the modest ranks of Italian antifascists, Carlo Rosselli, along with his brother Nello, was brutally assassinated in France in 1937 by French right-wing thugs, most likely with the participation of Mussolini's regime. Rosselli's life was marked by both frustration and optimism: frustration with sterile quarrels among Marxists and antifascists, optimism about enduring truths of liberalism and socialism. As a socialist, Rosselli was utterly convinced that individual liberty could not be bartered for social justice, that the logical fulfillment of liberalism inevitably led to a just society based on genuine equality. His ideas of "liberal socialism," propounded elegantly and with intellectual force in writings and speeches, were not well received or understood in an era marked by fierce political and social antagonisms. Nonetheless, his ideas were dangerous to Italian authorities, especially as they became more radical as a result of his participation in the Spanish Civil War, with the result that his life was cut short. This is an excellent intellectual and political biography of a tragic and engaging figure, and it offers as well incisive accounts of prominent Italian antifascists. Upper-division undergraduates and above. N. Greene; Wesleyan University


Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Younger Brothers
Autocritica
Liberal Socialism
Justice and Liberty
The Tragic Hero
Conclusion
Abbreviations
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index