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Italian Immigrant Radical CultureThe Idealism of the Sovversivi in the United States, 1890-1940$
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Marcella Bencivenni

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814791035

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814791035.001.0001

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Italian American Radicalism

Italian American Radicalism

Old World Roots, New World Developments

(p.7) 1 Italian American Radicalism
Italian Immigrant Radical Culture

Marcella Bencivenni

NYU Press

This chapter offers a general overview of the Italian radical movement in the United States. It begins by mapping the social and political scene in Italy after the struggle for unification in 1861, focusing particularly on the rise of anarchism and revolutionary socialism. It then turns to the United States and the emergence of the Italian immigrant radical movement from the first anarchist and socialist clubs at the turn of the nineteenth century, when the great Italian immigration began, to the fight against fascism and the movement's eventual decline after the 1930s. The story of Italian American radicalism begins with the massive emigration of Italians who entered the New World between 1880 and 1920. More than five million migrated to the United States during this period. The radicalization of thousands of Italian immigrant workers can be traced back to their exposure to ethnic discrimination and economic exploitation in America.

Keywords:   Italian Americans, sovversivi, Italian radical movement, anarchy, socialism, Italian immigrants, fascism, immigrant workers, ethnic discrimination, economic exploitation

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