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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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The Sovversivi and Their Cultural World

The Sovversivi and Their Cultural World

(p.37) 2 The Sovversivi and Their Cultural World
Italian Immigrant Radical Culture

Marcella Bencivenni

NYU Press

This chapter offers a collective profile of the sovversivi, as well as a discussion of their organizations and cultural life. It examines their role as ethnic leaders, the institutions they established, and their worldview. The Italian American radical cadre was composed of an immigrant generation of writers, artists, editors, and political organizers who had grown up in the turbulent years following the unification of Italy. This group included anarchists and socialist political emigres, educated and self-taught immigrants who were radicalized in America and, after World War I, a large number of antifascist and communist refugees. The three most important Italian radical leaders in the United States were the anarcho-syndicalist Carlo Tresca, the revolutionary poet Arturo Giovannitti, and the ultra-anarchist Luigi Galleani.

Keywords:   Italian Americans, sovversivi, cultural life, ethnic leaders, Italian immigrant activists, radicals, Carlo Tresca, Arturo Giovannitti, Luigi Galleani

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