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Learning from the Enemy by Marco Bresciani
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Learning from the Enemy

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Learning from the Enemy by Marco Bresciani
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Jun 18, 2024 | ISBN 9781804292273

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“Notwithstanding its small size, Giustizia e Libertà had an international relevance, due to the interaction between its exile perception of fascism, affected by the Parisian debates on totalitarianism, and a political activity fully immersed in the Italian reality. Bresciani’s book is a remarkable contribution to the current debate on the distinctive nature of fascism(s).”
—Carlo Ginzburg

“The story that Marco Bresciani tells with great finesse in this necessary book is a very important chapter in the heroic history that accompanied the birth of democracy in Italy. It started far back, from when fascism took power and grew in exile, in the underground struggle, in the discussions among the anti-fascists of Giustizia e Libertà about the conditions of political democracy. The movement that had as its founder Carlo Rosselli, the author of Liberal Socialism, was both internationalist and national, engaged in the Spanish Civil War with one of its battalions, and extraordinarily capable of understanding the imperialist nature of Nazi-Fascism before it manifested itself on the battlefields of Europe. This book is a valuable reconstruction of that history.”
—Nadia Urbinati, Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory, Columbia University

“Marco Bresciani has given a great gift to fascism’s enemies everywhere. He captures the fierce intellectual energy that early antifascist thinkers such as Carlo Rosselli drew from their trials of resistance, conspiracy, exile, prison, and combat. Bresciani also matches their intellectual energy with his own. The result is a book of rare intelligence and inspiration.”
—Joseph Fronczak, Princeton University, author of Everything Is Possible: Antifascism and the Left in the Age of Fascism

“Marco Bresciani’s history of the Italian anti-fascist group Giustizia e Liberta is the first available treatment in English of its subject. Based on a wide range of published and archival sources, the book offers numerous insights into this important group’s complicated relationship to fascism, communism, and the history of Italian democracy. Bresciani is a sure guide to the group’s remarkable ideological diversity, and its legacy in the postwar era. Learning from the Enemy is essential reading for anyone interested in the histories of anti-fascism, socialism, and liberalism in the twentieth century.”
—Iain Stewart, Unversity College London, author of Raymond Aron and Liberal Thought in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

Table Of Contents

Archives and Libraries

Which Antifascism?
Learning from the Enemy

1. Antifascism as an Experiment
1.1. Understanding Fascism Means Fighting Fascism
1.2. Group Picture: Between Giolitti and Mussolini
1.3. Blending Liberalism, Democracy, and Socialism
1.4. The Turtle Conspiracy
1.5. In the Shadow of Piero (But Not Only)

2. Exile in Paris as a Laboratory
2.1. Fascism: ‘Th e Autobiography of a Nation’, or of Europe?
2.2. Crisis of Democracy and of the Nation-State
2.3. Class Politics, Revolutionary Myths, Soviet Dictatorship
2.4. ‘Non-Conformist’ Strategies of Imitation and Competition
2.5. Crisis of Civilization
3. Time for Action?
3.1. A ‘European Civil War’
3.2. ‘Which Italy?’
3.3. ‘Conspiracy in Broad Daylight’ (Turin)
3.4. Different Time Frames
3.5. Spain: An International Battleground

4. Shades of Socialism
4.1. Rosselli’s Legacy: What Form of Socialism in an Age of Tyranny?
4.2. Nations, Europes, and Empires
4.3. Exploring the World (from a Prison Cell in Rome)
4.4. In the Footsteps of Heretics and Utopians

5. A Posthumous (and Hidden) Vitality
5.1. From the Fall of Paris to the Resistance
5.2. The Knight and the Castle


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