By Lucio Magri
Two decades have handed because the Italian Communists’ final Congress in 1991, during which the loss of life in their celebration was once decreed. It was once a planned dying, sped up via the need for a “new beginning.” That new starting by no means got here, and the realm misplaced a useful, complicated political, organizational and theoretical heritage.
In this certain and probing paintings, Lucio Magri, one of many towering highbrow figures of the Italian Left, assesses the explanations for the death of what was the most robust and colourful communist events of the West. The PCI marked virtually a century of Italian historical past, from its founding in 1921 to the partisan resistance, the turning element of Salerno in 1944 to the de-Stalinization of 1956, the lengthy ’68 to the “historic compromise,” and to the opportunity—missed forever—of democratic transformation.
With rigor and keenness, The Tailor of Ulm merges an unique and enlightening interpretation of Italian communism with the adventure of a militant “heretic” right into a riveting read—capable of broadening our insights into modern Italy, and the twentieth-century communist adventure.
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Extra resources for The Tailor of Ulm: A History of Communism
Within the early 1 990s, now serving within the entrance line, I fought opposed to the choice to dissolve the PCI - now not as the new path appeared too cutting edge, yet since it innovated within the other way and the inaccurate course. In liquidat ing this sort of wealthy identification wholesale, it opened the best way now not just to social democracy ( itself already in challenge) yet to a reasonable liberal-democratic strength. The management disbanded a military that had no longer but dispersed, and compensated for its loss of a venture with a fantastic cult of the 'new'. I stay at the present time one of many few who think this operation to were thoroughly groundless - which compels me all of the extra to ask yourself why it carried the day. ultimately, I took half within the starting place of Rifondazione Comu nista - with a few misgivings, simply because I feared it's going to lack the tips, the need and the energy to take its identify heavily; feared , i n ot h er phrases, a max i ma l ist flow fol low d via opport u n i t ac om modation . l el i ra nc cl my I f from i t b ca u s , a l th o ugh I ont i n u cl t o b li v it t h proj ·t , 1 e l i I now not s u ff i ·i n t d t rmin c i n or INTRODUCTION 17 skill to hold it ahead inside that association, or in the a long way Left diaspora. Scarcely somebody is aware or is familiar with a lot in regards to the twists and turns of this newest enterprise, and it may well end up helpful j ust to talk truthfully approximately it. i'm, then, a dwelling deepest archive, in garage. for somebody already outdated, isolation has a definite dignity. yet for a Communist, isolation is the gravest of sins, which has to be accounted for to others and to oneself. The 'last of the Mohicans' could be a mythi cal determine; the lone Communist, an 'angry previous man', hazards changing into a determine of enjoyable if he doesn't draw apart. but when sin opens the best way to the Lord - forgive this ironical con cession to the style and expediency that this present day spurs such a lot of to a unexpected look for God - then isolation may well enable a distance that would be valuable for the duty i've got set myself. i can't declare that 'I wasn't there' or 'I did not know'. in truth, I acknowledged one or issues after they have been nonetheless unseasonable issues to assert, and so now i'm at liberty to protect issues that are supposed to now not be disowned, and to invite myself what might have been performed, or may perhaps but be performed, past the bric-a-brac of daily politics. it's not actual that the previous - of Communists or of a person else was once thoroughly predetermined, j ust because it isn't really actual that the long run is totally within the fingers of the younger who're but to come back. The 'old mole' has been burrowing away, yet being blind he isn't certain the place he comes from or the place he's going; he will be digging in circles. and people who can't or won't belief in windfall needs to do their most sensible to appreciate him, and support him on his manner. 1 The Legacy This booklet doesn't declare to be, certainly can't be, an entire heritage of the Italian Communist get together, even if that's its selected box of research. it really is less than that, and a few more thing. much less, since it concentrates at the many years from the Salerno flip in 1 944 to the 1 990s, the interval whilst the PCI outlined a cul tural and political identification of its personal and received significant effect in Italy and world wide by means of advantage of its energy and capacities.