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Culminating over a decade of research, this fast-paced and vivid biography brings to life the volatile world of radical politics in early twentieth-century America through one of its foremost figures. Pernicone has brought to light and clarified myriad twists and turns of a sleepless fight, with a no-nonsense attitude which points straight to the nitty-gritty.

It is not for the faint of heart. It is a damning indictment. By recovering Tresca's story, Pernicone's work sheds light on the critical role of immigrants, both as leaders and as foot soldiers in creating and, at least for some time, consolidating a mass base of the Left. It is the story of a colorful, heroic, flamboyant figure told in an accesible way that will earn a wide readership. Cannistraro, co-author of Il Duce's Other Woman. Based on an extraordinary amount of research in primary and secondary Italian and American sources, he has written the definitive biography of this charismatic and fearless rebel.

For anyone interested in Italian-American studies, labor history, and radical politics - or who seeks an in-depth understanding of early twentieth century United States history - Pernicone s biography of Tresca is must reading.

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Based on more than thirty years of research, Nunzio Pernicone has scrupulously and meticulously redeemed the life and death of one of the most charismatic figures in the history of American radicalism. With impressive scholarship, Pernicone portrays Tresca in the context of the Italian American labor and anti-fascist movements of which he was a central actor. Tresca emerges from this volume as a fearless and unrelentingchampion of liberty and justice. Vecoli, Professor of History, University of Minnesota. Help Centre.

Carlo Tresca : Portrait of a Rebel

My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. Ships in 15 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Industry Reviews "One could hardly find a more thorough and finely balanced investigation into the daily fabricof Tresca's life.

Serie: Italian and Italian American Studies » Bokklubben

He soon became a socialist and became active in the Italian Railroad Workers' Federation before emigrating to America at the age of Once there he was elected secretary of the Italian Socialist Federation of North America and he took a full part in the class struggle. He switched political sympathies from social democracy to syndicalism as he realised the inherent reformism of the former and the importance of the direct action of the latter.

He become associated with the IWW, taking part in strikes of Pennsylvania coal miners before becoming involved in many important even legendary industrial disputes. Overtime his syndicalism turned into anarcho-syndicalism and he became one of the leading anarchists in America, particularly in the Italian-American community. Pernicone paints a picture of a deeply colourful and charismatic figure who played a key role in numerous fights for workers' rights.

He was a newspaper editor editing "Il Martello" -- The Hammer -- for over 20 years , a passionate and powerful writer, an agitator as well as an organiser. He also played an important role in the unsuccessful attempt to save Sacco and Vanzetti. He was an early and passionate opponent of fascism, quickly becoming the leading anti-fascist in America.

His activities earned the hatred of Mussolini and his regime as he played a key role both politically and physically in stopping the spread of fascism in Italian-American communities they tried to blow him up in Pernicone recounts in much detail how willing the "democratic" American state was to help Fascist Italy by trying to expel Tresca.

He also recounts how Tresca used to send Mussolini a telegram on the latter's birthday. Before emigrating to America, the youthful Tresca had meet with Mussolini then a left-socialist leader only to be informed that being in America would turn Tresca into a real revolutionary.

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Tresca's telegram simply reminded Mussolini that he had been right! Unlike many during that period, Tresca had no illusions in the Soviet Union. He saw how Lenin's regime had crushed the real revolution in Russia and opposed the new "socialist" regime as vigorously as he did fascism. During the s, however, Tresca did try to work with all opponents of fascism, even the communists Tresca did not doubt the bravery of the rank and file and recognised their willingness to fight fascism.

His attempts to build anti-fascist united fronts are recounted in some detail by Pernicone, as is Stalinist attempts to control such bodies. This, along with the Stalinist counter-revolutionary role in the Spanish Revolution, caused Tresca's anti-Leninism to grow during the s until such time as he opposed any form of co-operation with the Stalinists. This earned him their hatred.

Tresca's fight for freedom, equality and solidarity continued right to his assassination at the age of While no one was ever prosecuted for the murder, Pernicone does a good job in evaluating the evidence and conflicting theories suspects include the Stalinists, the Fascists and the Mafia before pointing the finger at Mafioso Carmine Galante. Suffice to say, the title of a previous biography of Tresca definitely summed up his life: "All the right enemies"!

This biography is the product of over thirty years work and the author clearly admires Tresca. However, this is no whitewash and the book shows the flaws as well as strengths of this untiring and fearless champion of liberty and justice. This is a riveting book and not only brings to life Tresca's only amazing story but brings to life the world of radical politics of the time. One thing which does strike the reader is how sectarian the anarchist movement was at the time. Tresca was hated by the anti-organisationalist anarchists who followed Luigi Galleani and they stopped at nothing to smear him much to the joy of the Fascists in the s and 30s.


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Letters from Malatesta, Goldman nor Berkman could not stop the personal attacks. It seems strange to see how, today, a similar process is at work with anti-organisationalist anarchists such as primitivists indulging in similar attacks. It would be nice to think we could learn some lessons of the past!

In summary, this is a very interesting book and well recommended. Tresca's memory should be honoured by all fighters for freedom today and Pernicone has done both Tresca and our movement a great service in writing this biography of an undeservingly forgotten champion of freedom. May it inspire many more!

Well, I applaud their efforts. But the same could be said of the CP, but it doesn't redeem them.

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I dont think the author of the review was implying that the antiorganisationalists where allying with the fascists or where not good antifascists figthers, just that their smear campain did play into the fascists games. How did they smear Tresca? I assume there's something in the book about this.

How did this "smear campaign" play into the fascists games? What does that mean?

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Labor History Association.