[Marxism] When We Loved Mussolini

Thomas thomasfbarton at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 13 12:09:01 MDT 2016

Although the content of the article below appears reasonable, the title, "When We Loved Mussolini," is a poke in the eye.

My grandfather moved to upper Michigan from a village near Lucca, Italy, around 1900 to work for the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, and along with his brothers in the copper mines, joined the Western Federation of Miners that led the great strike of 1913. My Aunt Eva very nearly burned in the fire at Italian Hall set by the company on the occasion of a Christmas Eve 1913 fund raiser for the union. 

Later the family moved to Kenosha, Wisc., where my granddad worked in the Simmons Bed Factory and Uncle Ralph got a job at the Nash Auto Plant, UAW all the way.

They hated Mussolini.  My Uncle Frank went with his union brothers, baseball bats in hand, to fascist meetings at a bar in Kenosha in the late 1930's to express that point of view. 

At a kid I learned from my Uncle Ralph who Carlo Tresca was and why I should never forget his name.

"We" didn't invade Iraq.

"We" didn't invade Afghanistan.

And "we" didn't love Mussolini.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Louis Proyect via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
>Sent: Aug 11, 2016 10:43 AM
>To: Thomas F Barton <thomasfbarton at earthlink.net>
>Subject: [Marxism] When We Loved Mussolini
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>NY Review, August 18, 2016 issue
>When We Loved Mussolini
>by Adam Tooze
>The United States and Fascist Italy: The Rise of American Finance in Europe
>by Gian Giacomo Migone, translated from the Italian and with a preface 
>by Molly Tambor
>Cambridge University Press, 405 pp., $110.00
>In the early 1960s, in the full flush of postwar Atlanticism, Gian 
>Giacomo Migone, the scion of a cosmopolitan family of Italian diplomats, 
>arrived at Harvard to study history. As a liberal Catholic, a follower 
>of John F. Kennedy, and a fan of Pope John XXIII, Migone was escaping 
>the conservatism and neofascism of the postwar Italian universities. He 
>came to the United States in search of the promise of democracy and new 
>developments in scholarship. What he found was something more 
>complicated. It was the heyday of the civil rights struggle and he and 
>other foreign students ventured South to witness the dying days of Jim 
>Crow. Yet it was not America’s present that would unsettle him but its 
>past and, in particular, America’s recent history in relation to his own 

>Antifascism was the founding myth of the Italian republic after 1945. 
>But not only did a resentful minority of Italians cling to the memory of 
>Mussolini, as Migone discovered in the National Archives in Washington, 
>it was not until surprisingly late in the 1930s that the United States 
>decided to treat Il Duce as an enemy. man conflict in the Ruhr that caused the US 
>to reengage with European affairs in the autumn of 1923. By then, for 
>Italy’s first generation of Atlanticist liberals, it was too late. 
>Mussolini had seized power in October 1922.

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