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Gaetano Salvemini

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Gaetano Salvemini was born in Italy in 1873. He taught history at the universities of Messina, Pisa and Florence. A socialist, he served in the Italian Parliament between 1919 and 1921.

A leading critic of the fascist rule of Benito Mussolini Salvemini was arrested and imprisoned in 1925. After his release he emigrated to the United States and taught history at Harvard University (1930-48).

Salvemini became an United States citizen in 1940 but after the Second World War he retired to Italy. Gaetano Salvemini died in 1957.


Gaetano Salvemini : A Biography

An outstanding scholar and political figure, Gaetano Salvemini had a reputation as one of the most courageous figures of his age. As a member of the Italian Socialist Party he championed social and political reform as a party activist, political commentator, and public officeholder. He fought for universal suffrage (including for women) in World War One he stood for his own version of a Wilsonian peace and he is counted among the earliest and most effective opponents of Fascism. It was said that the Fascists were anti-Salvemini before he became anti-Fascist, and their efforts to silence him made his name synonymous with early Italian resistance to the new regime.

A prominent exile in the United States, he resumed his scholarly work at Harvard through the help of friends and supporters. But never one to separate scholarship from political activity, he also continued to actively organize resistance to Mussolini, assisted others in escaping Italy, and played an important role in galvanizing both elite and public opinion in America against the Fascist regime. This groundbreaking biography is based on previously untapped archival resources.


Historian and Scientist

Gaetano Salvemini

Product Details

Publication Date: 01/01/1939

Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the &ldquoe-ditions&rdquo program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (&ldquoprint-on-demand&rdquo) editions via the &ldquoAvailable from De Gruyter&rdquo link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press&rsquos catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

The almost religious zeal for historical and social studies which characterizes our age, is born of a two-fold hope: that history may reveal to us our origin, and that the social sciences may reveal to us the laws of social life. This same hope explains why we feel the need of discussing our methods of research, the soundness of the material on which we work, and the reliability of our conclusions. It also explains why many historians and social scientists ask themselves whether history and the social sciences are really sciences. To this fundamental question underlying all historical scholarship, Dr. Salvemini devotes these charmingly lucid pages.

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Rounding out our blog posts for Pride Month is an excerpt from Heather Love&rsquos Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History, which looks at the cost of gay assimilation into mainstream culture and makes an effort to value aspects of historical gay experience that now threaten to disappear. Queers face a strange choice: is it better to move on toward a brighter future or to hang back and cling to the past? &hellip


Historian and Scientist

Gaetano Salvemini

Product Details

Publication Date: 01/01/1939

Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the &ldquoe-ditions&rdquo program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (&ldquoprint-on-demand&rdquo) editions via the &ldquoAvailable from De Gruyter&rdquo link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press&rsquos catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

  • Preface
  • I. A Definition of Terms
  • II. Intellectual Hybrids
  • III. An Issue Which Cannot Be Evaded
  • IV. The Sources of Historical Knowledge
  • V. Historical Skepticism
  • VI. Selection and Imagination
  • VII. Bias and Hypothesis
  • VIII. Unique and Recurring Facts
  • IX. Complexity, Measurement, and Experiment
  • X. Prevision
  • XI. Exact and Inexact Sciences
  • XII. From Humility to Tolerance
  • Appendix: What Is Culture?
  • Index

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  • Talking Points Memo published an excerpt from Orville Vernon Burton and Armand Derfner&rsquos Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court on how the Roberts court laid the groundwork for 2021&rsquos &ldquoall-out assault on voting rights.&rdquo
  • On his podcast Science Clear + Vivid, Lessons from Plants author Beronda L. Montgomery discussed with actor Alan Alda the surprising ways plants connect, communicate, and collaborate.
  • Priya Satia, author of Time&rsquos Monster: How History Makes History, wrote at Al Jazeera about Palestine and the myths of British imperial benevolence.

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Rounding out our blog posts for Pride Month is an excerpt from Heather Love&rsquos Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History, which looks at the cost of gay assimilation into mainstream culture and makes an effort to value aspects of historical gay experience that now threaten to disappear. Queers face a strange choice: is it better to move on toward a brighter future or to hang back and cling to the past? &hellip


Gaetano Salvemini

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Gaetano Salvemini: antifascism in thought and action

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 Libertà to the left in the mid-1930s. Gaetano Salvemini's opposition to Rosselli's repositioning of Giustizia e Libertà 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.

Notes

1 David Ellwood ( 2005 Ellwood, D. W. 2005 . ‘The never-ending liberation’ . Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 10(4): 385 – 95 . [Google Scholar] : 385) cautions against confusing the ‘noise’ of political campaigns with ‘the underlying processes of historical revision’.

2 De Felice's other controversial interviews include one in Panorama, 20 July 1981, p. 128 and another in Corriere della Sera, 27 December 1987.

3 Ledeen ( 2001 Ledeen, Michael . 2001 . ‘Renzo De Felice and the question of Italian fascism’ . Society, 38(4) : 75 – 77 . [Google Scholar] : 76), in his general defense of De Felice, explains that De Felice told him that he had heard the story from former President Francesco Cossiga, something that, when asked by Ledeen, Cossiga denied.

4 The final volume of De Felice's Mussolini biography is subtitled La guerra civile, 1943–1945.

5 See, for example, Gentile ( 1997 Gentile, Emilio . 1997 . ‘Renzo De Felice: a tribute’ . Journal of Contemporary History, 32(2): 139 – 51 . [Google Scholar] ), Gregor (1978), Knox ( 1999 Knox, MacGregor . 1999 . ‘In the Duce's defence’ . Times Literary Supplement, 26 February [Google Scholar] ), Ledeen ( 2001 Ledeen, Michael . 2001 . ‘Renzo De Felice and the question of Italian fascism’ . Society, 38(4) : 75 – 77 . [Google Scholar] ) and Mack Smith (1975).

6 Melograni wrote in 1976: ‘the consensus was widespread but superficial’. According to Stille ( 2002 Stille, Alexander . 2002 . ‘In Italy, a kinder, gentler fascism’ . New York Times, 28 September [Google Scholar] ), Nicola Tranfaglia questions the possibility of a consensus in a dictatorship.

7 Bosworth (2005: 531) notes that in the 1990s, ‘fewer than 40 per cent of Italians agreed that “brutality and tyranny” best summarized the Mussolini years’.

8 See, for example, Pavone ( 1991 Pavone, Carlo . 1991 . Una guerra civile. Saggio storico sulla moralità nella Resistenza, Turin : Bollati Boringhieri . [Google Scholar] ), who argued that the Resistance was not only a national war, but also a civil war and a class war.

9 Focardi ( 2005 Focardi, Filippo . 2005 . La guerra della memoria: La Resistenza nel dibattito politico italiano dal 1945 a oggi, Bari : Laterza . [Google Scholar] : 23–4) traces the second or ‘new’ Risorgimento metaphor to claims by the ANPI (partisans' association) and the claim that the Resistance was a national, ‘popular insurrection’ to Luigi Longo. Pezzino ( 2005 Pezzino, Paolo . 2005 . ‘The Italian Resistance between history and memory’ . Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 10(4): 396 – 412 . [Google Scholar] : 403) explains the rewriting of the history of this era as an attempt by Italians to redefine the ethos of the Republic.

10 Corner ( 2002: 325 Corner, Paul . 2002 . ‘Whatever happened to dictatorship?’ . Journal of Modern History, 74(2): 325 – 51 . [Google Scholar] ) detected ‘more than a slight stigma attached to antifascism, particularly middle-class and intellectual antifascism’.

11 See Marco Revelli's identification of five points of the antifascist paradigm in De Luna and Revelli ( 1995 De Luna, Giovanni and Revelli, Marco . 1995 . Fascismo antifascismo: le idée, le identità, Florence : La Nuova Italia Editrice . [Google Scholar] : 23–9).

12 Salvemini's public appearances in the United States were often shadowed by fascist agents (Killinger 1981 Killinger, Charles . 1981 . ‘Gaetano Salvemini e le autorità americane. Documenti inediti del F.B.I.’ . Storia Contemporanea, 12(3): 403 – 39 . [Google Scholar] , 2002 Killinger, Charles . 2002 . Gaetano Salvemini, A Biography, Westport, CN : Praeger . [Google Scholar] : 210–15).

13 On Giustizia e Libertà, see Fedele ( 1976 Fedele, Santi . 1976 . Storia della concentrazione antifascista, 1927–1934, Milan : Feltrinelli . [Google Scholar] ), Garosci ( 1973 Garosci, Aldo . 1973 . Vita di Carlo Rosselli, Florence : Vallecchi . [Google Scholar] : 170 ff.), Pugliese ( 1999 Pugliese, Stanislao . 1999 . Carlo Rosselli: Socialist Heretic and Antifascist Exile, Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press . [Google Scholar] ) and Tranfaglia ( 1967 Tranfaglia, Nicolo . 1967 . ‘Con Rosselli e Giustizia e Libertà’ . La Voce Repubblicana, 21 December [Google Scholar] , 1968 Tranfaglia, Nicolo . 1968 . Carlo Rosselli dall'interventismo a Giustizia e Libertà, Bari : Laterza . [Google Scholar] ).

14 See also, Salvemini speech, 18 December 1933, La Libertà, n.d., Salvemini Scrapbooks, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

15 Carlo Rosselli led the ‘Giellisti’, as they called themselves, by resigning from the Partito socialista unitario in November 1929. See also Salvemini to Constantine Panunzio, 20 October 1930, Constantine Panunzio Papers, Hoover Institution onWar, Revolution and Peace, Stanford, CA, USA Garosci ( 1973 Garosci, Aldo . 1973 . Vita di Carlo Rosselli, Florence : Vallecchi . [Google Scholar] : 176–8), Pugliese ( 1999 Pugliese, Stanislao . 1999 . Carlo Rosselli: Socialist Heretic and Antifascist Exile, Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press . [Google Scholar] ), Salvemini ( 1978 Salvemini, Gaetano . 1978 . Opere VIII: Scritti vari, 1900–1957, Edited by: Garrone, A. Galante . Milan : Feltrinelli . [Google Scholar] : 693–7) and Tagliacozzo ( 1958 Tagliacozzo, Enzo . 1958 . ‘Ricordo di Salvemini’ . Rassegna Storia Toscana, 4: 179 – 96 . [Google Scholar] : 193).

16 See also, Salvemini, ‘Il mito dell'uomo-Dio’, Giustizia e Libertà (Paris), 20 July 1934, Salvemini Scrapbooks.

17 See also, Salvemini to Carlo Rosselli, 4 April 1934, Salvemini Collection, Archivio di Giustizia e Libertà, Istituto Storico per la Resistenza inToscana, Florence.

18 Salvemini to Rosselli, 23 April 1934 (Signori 2009 Signori, Elisa . 2009 . “ Fra le righe: Carteggio fra Carlo Rosselli e Gaetano Salvemini ”. Milan : FrancoAngeli . [Google Scholar] : 212).

19 Salvemini to Rosselli, 18 February 1934 and 13 January 1935 (Signori 2009 Signori, Elisa . 2009 . “ Fra le righe: Carteggio fra Carlo Rosselli e Gaetano Salvemini ”. Milan : FrancoAngeli . [Google Scholar] : 185–6, 232–4).

20 Salvemini to Rosselli, 23 April 1934 (Signori 2009 Signori, Elisa . 2009 . “ Fra le righe: Carteggio fra Carlo Rosselli e Gaetano Salvemini ”. Milan : FrancoAngeli . [Google Scholar] : 214–15).

21 Rosselli to Salvemini, 15 October 1935 (Signori 2009 Signori, Elisa . 2009 . “ Fra le righe: Carteggio fra Carlo Rosselli e Gaetano Salvemini ”. Milan : FrancoAngeli . [Google Scholar] : 256) Rosselli, ‘Manifesto agli italiani’, Giustizia e Libertà, 20 September 1935: 1.

22 Salvemini to Rosselli, 13 January 1935 (Signori 2009 Signori, Elisa . 2009 . “ Fra le righe: Carteggio fra Carlo Rosselli e Gaetano Salvemini ”. Milan : FrancoAngeli . [Google Scholar] : 234).

23 Salvemini to Alberto Tarchiani, 4 October 1935, Alberto Tarchiani Papers, Archivio di Giustizia e Libertà, Istituto Storico per la Resistenza in Toscana, Florence.

24 Salvemini to Rosselli, 15 May 1936 (Signori 2009 Signori, Elisa . 2009 . “ Fra le righe: Carteggio fra Carlo Rosselli e Gaetano Salvemini ”. Milan : FrancoAngeli . [Google Scholar] : 278).

25 Salvemini to Alberto Tarchiani, 28 September 1935, Tarchiani Papers.

26 Rosselli's view of the consensus conforms to Paul Corner's ( 2002 Corner, Paul . 2002 . ‘Whatever happened to dictatorship?’ . Journal of Modern History, 74(2): 325 – 51 . [Google Scholar] : 349) idea that ‘repression and passive acquiescence should be seen as elements along a continuum’.

27 Interestingly, there exists in the methodology of both Salvemini and De Felice a similarity in the extensive use of direct quotes from documents.

28 See also the ‘Introduction’ to Salvemini ( 1973a Salvemini, Gaetano . 1973a . The Origins of Fascism in Italy, New York : Harper & Row . [Google Scholar] : x–xi) Carsten ( 1976 Carsten, L. Francis . 1976 . “ ‘Interpretations of fascism’ ”. In Fascism: A Reader's Guide, Edited by: Laqueur, Walter . 415 – 34 . Berkeley, CA : University of California Press . [Google Scholar] : 427–31) De Felice ( 1977 De Felice, Renzo . 1977 . Interpretations of Fascism, Edited by: Huff, Barbara . Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press . [Google Scholar] : 143, 152) Lyttleton ( 2004 Lyttleton, Adrian . 2004 . The Seizure of Power: Fascism in Italy, 1919–1939, London : Routledge . [Google Scholar] : 101–20).

29 The first edition was published in 1932 in French as Mussolini Diplomate (Paris: Grasset), then in Italian as Mussolini Diplomatico (Paris, 1932). A revised manuscript appeared as Mussolini Diplomatico (first volume), translated from English by Antonio Castelletti (Rome, 1945). That version was extended and published as Mussolini Diplomatico (1922–1932) (Bari, 1952).

30 De Felice would later argue that ‘prior to the 1930s the Italian dictator maintained a largely traditional, “cautious and reasonable” foreign policy’ (qtd in Cardoza 2005 Cardoza, L. Anthony . 2005 . ‘Recasting the Duce for the new century: recent scholarship on Mussolini and Italian fascism’ . Journal of Modern History, 77(3): 723 – 37 . [Google Scholar] : 726).

31 American antifascists subscribed to fascist publications under pseudonyms as part of the effort to document the regime's policies and propaganda (Cantarella 1979 Cantarella, Michele . 1979 . “ Author interview, Northampton, MA ”. [Google Scholar] ). Among the sources Salvemini employed were ministerial bulletins, banking reports, statistical abstracts, speeches, parliamentary debates and statutes, internal memoranda, memoirs and diaries.

32 See, for example, the 1969 edition of Mack Smith's Italy: A Modern History, in which the author cites Salvemini's assessment of the Chamber of Fasces and Corporations (Mack Smith 1969: 395). Among historians to accept, at least in part, Salvemini's view of Mussolini's diplomacy as demagogic and largely incoherent are the following: Salvatorelli and Mira ( 1957 Salvatorelli, Luigi and Mira, Giovanni . 1957 . Storia dell'Italia nel periodo fascista, Turin : Einaudi . [Google Scholar] : 657 ff.) Hughes ( 1963 Hughes, Stuart H. 1963 . “ ‘The early diplomacy of Italian fascism, 1922–1932’ ”. In The Diplomats, 1919–1932, Edited by: Craig, Gordon and Gilbert, Felix . 210 – 33 . New York : Atheneum . [Google Scholar] : 225 ff.) and Mack Smith (1969: 445 ff., 1977: viii). For a discussion of Salvemini's influence, see Robertson ( 1977 Robertson, Esmonde . 1977 . Mussolini as Empire Builder, 1932–36, New York : St. Martin's Press . [Google Scholar] : 3). H. James Burgwyn ( 1997 Burgwyn, James H. 1997 . Italian Foreign Policy in the Interwar Period, 1918–1940, Westport, CN : Praeger . [Google Scholar] : xii–xiii) argues as well that in this early period inexperience and ‘preoccupation with domestic concerns’ limited Mussolini's effectiveness but Burgwyn views Mussolini more in the tradition of European realpolitik than does Salvemini. See also Tranfaglia ( 1988 Tranfaglia, Nicolo . 1988 . ‘Gaetano Salvemini storico del fascismo’ . Studi Storici, 29(4): 905–23 [Google Scholar] : 920–3). MacGregor Knox and Richard Bosworth may also be included in this category of Anglophone antifascist historians (Cardoza 2005 Cardoza, L. Anthony . 2005 . ‘Recasting the Duce for the new century: recent scholarship on Mussolini and Italian fascism’ . Journal of Modern History, 77(3): 723 – 37 . [Google Scholar] : 729). Painter ( 1990 Painter, W. Borden . 1990 . ‘Renzo De Felice and the historiography of Italian fascism’ . American Historical Review, 95(2): 391–405 [Google Scholar] : 397) notes that Mack Smith, in his generally hostile review of De Felice's Gli anni del consenso and the Intervista, ‘did credit De Felice with showing that the corporative system was a sham’, a view consistent with Salvemini's.

33 Salvemini's pragmatism and empiricism gave him what Vivarelli ( 1973 Vivarelli, Roberto . 1973 . “ ‘Introduction to Salvemini’ ”. In Origins of Fascism in Italy, vii – xiii . New York : Harper & Row . [Google Scholar] : viii) called a shared ‘affinity’ with the Anglo-Saxon mind.

34 Also, Giustizia e Libertà (Paris) 20 July 1934, Salvemini Scrapbooks.

35 Giustizia e Libertà (Paris), 21 September 1934, Salvemini Scrapbooks Salvemini ( 1978 Salvemini, Gaetano . 1978 . Opere VIII: Scritti vari, 1900–1957, Edited by: Garrone, A. Galante . Milan : Feltrinelli . [Google Scholar] : 693) Salvadori ( 1963 Salvadori, L. Massimo . 1963 . Gaetano Salvemini, Turin : Einaudi . [Google Scholar] : 130–2) De Caro ( 1970 De Caro, Gaspare . 1970 . Gaetano Salvemini, Turin : UTET . [Google Scholar] : 371–88) Garosci ( 1945 Garosci, Aldo . 1945 . ‘Salvemini radicale americano o le lacune del problemismo’ . Mercurio, 12: 41 – 49 . [Google Scholar] ). According to Pugliese ( 1999 Pugliese, Stanislao . 1999 . Carlo Rosselli: Socialist Heretic and Antifascist Exile, Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press . [Google Scholar] : 103), ‘Rosselli held that Marxism was an artificial, “imported” phenomenon that never really managed to penetrate the socialist movement in Italy.’

36 Bolaffio to Salvemini 30 January 1942, Roberto Bolaffio Papers, Istituto Storico per la Resistenza in Toscana, Florence, ‘Salvemini’ file Salvemini to Ascoli 12 February 1942 and 19 April 1942 Salvemini to Bolaffio 27 May 1942, Max Ascoli Papers, Manuscript Collections, Boston University, ‘Salvemini’ file Salvemini to Bolaffio 19 April 1942, Archivio Gaetano Salvemini, Istituto Storico per la Resistenza in Toscana, Florence Ascoli ‘Notes for the Congress’, Nazioni Unite, 11 June and 18 June 1942 Salvemini, ‘La Mazzini’, letter to the editor, Controcorrente, August–September 1941, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA Salvemini ( 1969 Salvemini, Gaetano . 1969 . Opere VII: L'italia vista dall'America, Edited by: Tagliacozzo, Enzo . Milan : Feltrinelli . [Google Scholar] : 416–18, 616–18).

37 Kenneth B. Murdock, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, to James B. Conant, President, 13 November 1933, James B. Conant Papers, Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, MA, USA. The Conant Papers are considered the official Harvard Corporation records of this era.

38 Prezioso ( 2008 Prezioso, Stefanie . 2008 . ‘Antifascism and anti-totalitarianism: the Italian debate’ . Journal of Contemporary History, 43(4): 555 – 72 . [Google Scholar] : 570) points out that Rosselli's death also ended the possibility of GL cooperation with the PCI.

39 There are several biographical studies: Killinger ( 2002 Killinger, Charles . 2002 . Gaetano Salvemini, A Biography, Westport, CN : Praeger . [Google Scholar] ), Tagliacozzo ( 1963 Tagliacozzo, Enzo . 1963 . Gaetano Salvemini: Un profilo biografico, Rome : Laterza . [Google Scholar] ) and Salvadori ( 1963 Salvadori, L. Massimo . 1963 . Gaetano Salvemini, Turin : Einaudi . [Google Scholar] ).

40 Salvemini joined Roberto Bolaffio, Lionello Venturi, Renato Poggioli and Michele Cantarella at the Cantarella home in Northampton, Massachusetts, to create the Mazzini Society (Garosci 1953 Garosci, Aldo . 1953 . Storia dei fuorusciti, Bari : Laterza . [Google Scholar] ) Salvadori ( 1958 Salvadori, Max . 1958 . The Labour and the Wounds, London : Pall Mall Press . [Google Scholar] ) Michele Cantarella to Philip Cannistraro, 22 November 1965 Michele Cantarella, letter to New York Times, 31 January 1945.

41 ‘Relazione della prima seduta della Mazzini Society’, signed by Venturi and Poggioli, n.d., Archivio Giustizia e Libertà, Storico per la Resistrenza in Toscana, Florence, ‘Mazzini Society’ Cantarella to Philip Cannistraro 22 November 1975 Ascoli and Feiler ( 1938 Ascoli, Max and Feiler, Arthur . 1938 . Fascism for Whom?, New York : W. W. Norton . [Google Scholar] ), Cantarella ( 1979 Cantarella, Michele . 1979 . “ Author interview, Northampton, MA ”. [Google Scholar] ), Miller ( 1986 Miller, E. James . 1986 . The United States and Italy, 1940–1950, Chapel Hill, NC : University of North Carolina Press . [Google Scholar] : 25), Tirabassi ( 1976 Tirabassi, Maddalena . 1976 . “ ‘La Mazzini Society (1940–1946)’ ”. In Italia e America dall’ settecento all'età dell'imperialismo, Edited by: Spini, Giorgio . 141 – 58 . Venice : Marsilio . [Google Scholar] : 141–3).

42 See, for example, Boston Herald, 5 February 1939, Salvemini Scrapbooks Salvemini, ‘Britain wins in Spain’, The Nation, 18 February 1939, 197–9 Salvemini to Isabel Massey, 30 December 1940, Public Record Office, Foreign Office Group 371, 29935, Ministry of Information, Postal Censorship, London Salvemini, ‘Mr. Churchill Addresses the Italian People’, Il Mondo (NY), 15 January 15 1941.

43 Salvemini, ‘Government could break Duce's hold on U.S. Italians’, Il Corriere del Popolo (San Francisco) 30 January 1941 Salvemini to Ascoli, 12 February 1942, Archivio Gaetano Salvemini Salvemini, ‘A wolf guardian of the sheep’, Controcorrente, 14 March 1942 and ‘Plea to remove enemy stigma from the Italians’, Boston Globe, 11 October 1942 Miller ( 1978 Miller, E. James . 1978 . ‘A question of loyalty: American liberals, propaganda, and the Italian-American community, 1939–1943’ . Maryland Historian, 9(1): 60 – 64 . [Google Scholar] ) ‘Italian aliens’, 25 May 1942, Office of Facts and Figures, Record Group 208, US Office of War Information, National Archives, Washington, DC ‘Confidential duplicates of board meeting notes’, CWI Meeting, 18 May 1942 Board meetings, 3 and 10 March, 28 April, 5 and 26 May, 9 and 16 June, 6 July 1942, Papers of Archibald MacLeish, Miscellaneous Subject File, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC Salvemini, ‘Good, but not good enough’, Nation, 7 November 1942, 477–8 Miller ( 1978 Miller, E. James . 1978 . ‘A question of loyalty: American liberals, propaganda, and the Italian-American community, 1939–1943’ . Maryland Historian, 9(1): 60 – 64 . [Google Scholar] : 60–4) Cannistraro ( 1985 Cannistraro, Philip . 1985 . ‘Luigi Antonini and the Italian anti-fascist movement in the United States, 1940–1943’ . Journal of American Ethnic History, 5: 21 – 40 . [Web of Science ®] , [Google Scholar] ).

44 Ascoli to Adolph Berle, 19 December 1941, Ascoli Papers, ‘Berle’ file Bolaffio to Salvemini 30 January 1942, Bolaffio Papers ‘Salvemini’ Salvemini to Ascoli, 12 February 1942 and 19 April 1942, Ascoli Papers, ‘Salvemini’ file Salvemini to Bolaffio, 19 April 1942, Archivio Gaetano Salvemini Salvemini to Bolaffio, 27 May 1942, Ascoli Papers ‘Salvemini’ Ascoli, ‘Notes for the Congress’, Nazioni Unite, 11 and 18 June 1942 Salvemini, ‘La Mazzini’, letter to the editor, Controcorrente, August–September 1941, Immigration History Research Center Salvemini ( 1969 Salvemini, Gaetano . 1969 . Opere VII: L'italia vista dall'America, Edited by: Tagliacozzo, Enzo . Milan : Feltrinelli . [Google Scholar] : 416–18 and 616–18).

45 On Salvemini's anti-communism, see: Migone ( 1971 Migone, Giacomo Gian . 1971 . Problemi di storia nei rapporti tra Italia e gli Stati Uniti, Torino : Rosenberg & Seller . [Google Scholar] : 110–12, 139) Tirabassi ( 1976 Tirabassi, Maddalena . 1976 . “ ‘La Mazzini Society (1940–1946)’ ”. In Italia e America dall’ settecento all'età dell'imperialismo, Edited by: Spini, Giorgio . 141 – 58 . Venice : Marsilio . [Google Scholar] : 147–9) De Caro ( 1970 De Caro, Gaspare . 1970 . Gaetano Salvemini, Turin : UTET . [Google Scholar] : 379 ff.) Tagliacozzo ( 1977 Tagliacozzo, Enzo . 1977 . “ ‘Interventi’ ”. In Atti del Convegno sul Gaetano Salvemini, Edited by: Sestan, Ernesto . 183 – 93 . Milan : Il Saggiatore . [Google Scholar] : 190–1) Salvemini to Henry W. L. Dana, 31 March 1943, Salvemini Autograph File, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

46 Ascoli to Salvemini, 10 March 1941, Ascoli Papers ‘Salvemini’ file Salvemini to Tarchiani, 26 February 1941 Tarchiani to Salvemini, 1 March 1941, Tarchiani Papers Bolaffio to Salvemini 18 April 1941, Archivio Giustizia e Libertà, ‘Salvemini’ file New York Times, 11 January 1942.

47 See also, Archivio Giustizia e Libertà, f. 1, s. 2, ‘Mazzini Society’.

48 Salvemini to Ascoli, 26 March 1943, Ascoli Papers ‘Salvemini’ file ‘Present state of Italian politics in the United States’, 1 December 1943, Foreign Nationalities Branch Papers, n. 162, Office of Strategic Services, Record Group 65, National Archives, Washington, DC Ascoli to Tarchiani, 30 November 1943, Ascoli Papers ‘Mazzini Society’ file ‘The end of Mussolini and the Italian political scene in the United States’, 3 August 1943, Foreign Nationalities Branch, n. B-65 ‘Gli amici di Generoso Pope provocano la scissione al Congresso della Mazzini’, 4 December 1943, newspaper text, Panunzio Papers ‘Schism in the Mazzini Society and a new Free Italy movement’, 21 December 1943, Foreign Nationalities Branch, n. B-129 Cannistraro ( 1985 Cannistraro, Philip . 1985 . ‘Luigi Antonini and the Italian anti-fascist movement in the United States, 1940–1943’ . Journal of American Ethnic History, 5: 21 – 40 . [Web of Science ®] , [Google Scholar] ).

49 Ascoli to Sturzo, 29 November 1943, Ascoli Papers Ascoli to Tarchiani, 30 November 1943, Ascoli Papers, Tarchiani file Tirabassi ( 1976 Tirabassi, Maddalena . 1976 . “ ‘La Mazzini Society (1940–1946)’ ”. In Italia e America dall’ settecento all'età dell'imperialismo, Edited by: Spini, Giorgio . 141 – 58 . Venice : Marsilio . [Google Scholar] ).

50 ‘The Badoglio–Togliatti Bloc’, Countercurrent (Boston), April 1944.

51 ‘Communist leader held man to watch in Italy’, Los Angeles Times, 20 April 1944 ‘Italians must choose ruler, speaker says’, Los Angeles Daily News, 20 April 1944 ‘Says FDR, Churchill blunder in Italy’, Los Angeles Herald Express, 20 April 1944 ‘Salvemini's speech in Royce Hall’, 19 April (n.d.) (1944), Panunzio Papers. On the communist reaction to Salvemini's speech, see telegram, Robert Rossen to Salvemini, 20 April 20 1944, Panunzio Papers ‘On the eve of the invasion’, Writers' Congress promotional flyer, Panunzio Papers Harry W. Flannery to Constantine Panunzio, 21 April and 12 June 1944, Panunzio Papers ‘The Stalinists of Hollywood’, Countercurrent, June 1944, Immigration History Research Center ‘Salvemini and the comrades’, New Republic, 1 May 1944, 588, Panunzio Papers Nation, 3 and 24 June 1944, 651–2, 746–7 Diggins ( 1972 Diggins, P. John . 1972 . Mussolini and Fascism, Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press . [Google Scholar] : 387, 409). For an evaluation of Togliatti's relationship with the Kremlin, see Aga-Rossi and Zaslavsky ( 1994 Aga-Rossi, Elena and Zaslavsky, Victor . 1994 . ‘L'URSS, il PCI e l'Italia: 1944–1948’ . Storia Contemporanea, 25(6) : 929 – 82 . [Google Scholar] ). For a different interpretation, see Agosti ( 1996 Agosti, Aldo . 1996 . Palmiro Togliatti, Turin : UTET . [Google Scholar] : 268–82) see also Salvadori ( 1963 Salvadori, L. Massimo . 1963 . Gaetano Salvemini, Turin : Einaudi . [Google Scholar] : 145) and Salvemini ( 1978 Salvemini, Gaetano . 1978 . Opere VIII: Scritti vari, 1900–1957, Edited by: Garrone, A. Galante . Milan : Feltrinelli . [Google Scholar] : 316–24).

52 Salvemini, ‘Per una Concentrazione Repubblicana-Socialista in Italia’, Controcorrente, November 1944, Immigration History Research Center Salvemini to Tanner, 8 and 18 August and 7 September 7 1944, Stephen Tanner Letters, in possession of the author, Orlando, FL, USA Salvemini to Riccardo Bauer, 16 August 1944 (Salvemini 1967 Salvemini, Gaetano . 1967 . Lettere dall'America 1944/1946, Edited by: Merola, Alberto . Bari : Laterza . [Google Scholar] : 20–1).

53 Roberts ( 2009c Roberts, David . 2009c . ‘“Political religion” and the totalitarian departures of inter-war Europe: on the uses and disadvantages of analytical category’ . Contemporary European History, 18(4): 381 – 414 . [Google Scholar] ) notes Gentile's emphasis on ‘the seriousness … of the underlying “religious” impulse’ in fascist Italy.

54 Focardi ( 2005 Focardi, Filippo . 2005 . La guerra della memoria: La Resistenza nel dibattito politico italiano dal 1945 a oggi, Bari : Laterza . [Google Scholar] : 9) quotes Salvemini as contributing to the bravo italiano myth.

55 As Carl Ipsen has pointed out, factual or not, the myth of Italian heroism did serve to deliver a democratic republic with universal suffrage –‘finally the realization of that Mazzinian ideal’ (‘History as it really wasn't’2001: 406). Salvemini maintained communications with Piero Calamandrei who represented the PdA at the constituent assembly that drafted the republican constitution. In 1988, De Felice advocated canceling the Republic's constitutional commitment to antifascism (Painter 1990 Painter, W. Borden . 1990 . ‘Renzo De Felice and the historiography of Italian fascism’ . American Historical Review, 95(2): 391–405 [Google Scholar] : 403).


Gaetano Salvemini - History

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Torino: Linea bus 44 Feriale

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Gaetano Salvemini life and biography

Date of birth : 1873-09-08
Date of death : 1957-09-06
Birthplace : Molfetta, Italy
Nationality : Italian
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2011-05-19
Credited as : Historian, and journalist, Fascist dictatorship

The Italian historian and journalist Gaetano Salvemini introduced economic and social analysis into Italian historiography. He spent his later years combating the Fascist dictatorship.

Gaetano Salvemini was born in Molfetta on Sept. 8, 1873, the second of nine children in a poor peasant family. As a child, he had little to read but the Bible and the novels of Alexander Dumas and Euge‧ne Sue. But his success on his school examinations led him to try for a scholarship at the Institute for Higher Studies at Florence, which he barely won.

In Florence he was soon caught up in the Socialist movement. His thesis on the Florentine knighthood in the Renaissance was followed by Magnati e popolani nelle commune di Firenze 1280-1295 (1899), in which he described the origins of the Florentine Republic as the product of class conflict. Salvemini saw the history of this period as one of conflict between the aristocracy and the great merchants, in which economic change brought institutional change in its wake. Though the book sold very few copies, it was considered the manifesto of the new Italian historiography. The work won Salvemini a professorial chair in 1901 and a prize from the Accademia dei Lincei that allowed him to marry Maria Minervini, whose acquaintance he had made as a student.

In 1897 Salvemini had begun to contribute to the Socialist journal Critica sociale. After his professorial appointment he helped organize secondary school teachers and joined a campaign to promote universal suffrage and universal education. At the same time he wrote La Rivoluzione francese (1905 The French Revolution), introducing to the Italian reading public the work of the French historian Alphonse Aulard, and a study Mazzini (1905), the first major analysis of this Italian statesman's ideas in the European context. These productive years were brought to a sudden end when an earthquake at Messina killed Salvemini's entire family in 1908, a tragedy from which he only slowly recovered.

In 1910 and 1913 Salvemini stood for election to Parliament but was defeated by government-instigated electoral fraud. Meanwhile he founded a new socialist journal, L'unita‧, on whose pages he fought the exacerbated nationalism of the war and immediate postwar years. In 1919 he was elected to Parliament by a large majority. But parliamentary government was already in deep trouble in 1921, after the Fascists had gained power, he withdrew from politics. Though this move probably saved him from an assassin's bullet, it deprived the opposition of one of its most courageous leaders.

In 1925, after being arrested for clandestine anti-Fascist activities, Salvemini managed to escape and flee the country. He went first to France and England, then in 1933 to the United States to teach the history of Italian civilization at Harvard. He worked to awaken the English and American world to the dangers of fascism. He returned to Florence in 1947 and died there on Sept. 6, 1957.


Vassar Chronology

Under the sponsorship of the Political Association, Italian historian and fervent anti-Fascist Dr. Gaetano Salvemini, Lauro de Bosis Lecturer on the History of Italian Civilization at Harvard University, spoke in Avery Hall on "Italy after Thirteen Years of Dictatorship."  Active in Italian politics before his exile in 1925, Salvemini had debated heatedly with Vassar Professor of Italian Bruno Roselli about the policies and consequences of the Mussolini régime in 1926 before some 1,400 members of the Economics Club in New York City.  

Addressing two questions: "What are the results of Italian Fascism?" and "Is Italian Fascism a Success?" Professor Salvemini declared since Mussolini came to power unemployment, monetary instability, the cost of living and the national debt had steadily increased, while wages had decreased.  "The economic crisis in Italy," he claimed, "is not due to the Wall Street crash. When the crash came in 1929, Italy had already been weakened by three years of crisis as a result of Mussolini's economic policies."  About the Italian invasion of Ethiopia—launched days before his Vassar appearance—Salvemini told his audience "this war is the most senseless war that ever took place.  From the economic point of view this war is lunacy."

A visitor to Vassar in 1933, when he spoke on "Florence in the Time of Dante," Professor Salvemini visited the college again in December 1942, speaking on "The Italian Population Problem."     The Miscellany News


Salvemini, Gaetano

Born Sept. 18, 1873, in Molfetta, Bari died Sept. 6, 1957, in Sorrento. Italian political figure, historian, and publicist. From 1902 to 1925 history professor at the universities of Messina, Pisa, and Florence.

Salvemini joined the socialist movement in 1893. However, he did not accept the directives of the socialist party&rsquos reformist leadership on several questions, especially the Southern Question. Unlike the reformists, who to all intents and purposes ignored the interests of the southern peasantry, he called for a radical solution to the problem of the south. Salvemini left the socialist party in 1911. From the early 20th century he was a leader of the democratic wing of the Meridionals (from the Italian meridionale, or &ldquosouthern&rdquo), who advocated the economic modernization and rebirth of the south. From 1919 to 1921 he was a deputy to parliament.

Salvemini resolutely opposed Fascism for this reason he was arrested and convicted. In 1925 he emigrated to France, where he emerged as a leader of the anti-Fascist Justice and Liberty (Giustizia e Libertà) movement. He lived in the United States from 1934 to 1948 and taught at Harvard University. In 1949, Salvemini returned to his homeland and became head of the history faculty at the University of Florence.


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