Stefanie Prezioso is Professor of European contemporary history at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She is the author of numerous publications on Italian contemporary history, the First World War, and problems relating to the public use of history. She is one of the organizers of the French Language network “Penser l’émancipation” (Emancipatory Thought), which will hold its second conference in Nanterre on February 19-22, 2014.
Fascism, Past and Present
Historian Stéfanie Prezioso traces the rise of revisionist historiography on Italian fascism.
On the Eve of National Elections, Looking Backward
On September 25 Italy will hold elections following the resignation of Prime Minister Pario Draghi and the concern is palpable.
Eighty years after his death, Antonio Gramsci is among the most influential Marxist intellectuals across the board. By the end of World War II, liberal intellectuals had already found in him “a Marxist you can take home to Mother.” The tone was set by Benedetto Croce, who allegedly gushed in 1947, upon reading Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks, “He’s one of us!”1 It reached the point that the Sardinian activist can be presented today as no less than the guarantor of “Italian Democracy.”2
On December 4, 2016, the Italian electorate was asked to vote on a government-proposed constitutional reform, and the vote dealt the government and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plans a ringing blow. The referendum was a political gambit on which the PM bet everything, yet 59.1 percent of voters rejected the reform. Barely an hour after the polls closed, Renzi announced his resignation.
Portrait of a Continent in Crisis
Seventy years after the end of World War II and the defeat of fascism and Nazism, the extreme right is on the rise in almost every European country.
“Disaster,” “an earthquake,” “electroshock,” “a historic shock,” “a thunderclap,” “a stroke”: the results of the most recent European elections have caused a veritable media storm throughout Europe, beginning with France where the historic victory of the National Front of Marine Le Pen has left commentators with a real hangover.
Some Thoughts on Today’s Italy
In March 2010, a few months before his death, Mario Monicelli, the unforgettable director of the 1958 caper film Big Deal on Madonna Street (I soliti ignoti), was interviewed live on Michele Santoro’s program “Rai per una notte.”2 Disillusioned, Monicelli sketched the portrait of a subdued country, an Italy overcome with fear, which he then followed with expressing the hope of “a real blow [to the system], a revolution, something Italy has never experienced,” because, according to him, redemption only comes from sacrifice and