Carlo Tresca

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This biography reveals the life of one of the American left's most controversial and charismatic figures in the early twentieth century: anarchist, activist, and revolutionary Carlo Tresca. Emigrating to America at age twenty-five from Italy, Tresca became a leader in the fight for workers' rights, alongside activists like Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Emma Goldman. Tresca played many roles for his cause: newspaper editor, labor agitator and organizer, civil libertarian, anti-fascist, and an indomitable foe of Stalinism. He continued to fight for the rights of the oppressed until gunned down by Mafioso Carmine Galante, a crime which would never be prosecuted. This engaging book not only relates Tresca's adventure-filled story, but brings to life the volatile world of radical politics in early twentieth century America.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"One could hardly find a more thorough and finely balanced investigation into the daily fabric of Tresca's life. 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."
--Journal of Modern Italian Studies

"What comes out of this is a world that has barely been written about and never in-depth: the role of anarchists in the ILGWU and their role in the various factional fights, the role of anarchists in early anti-fascist organizations and again, their role in various factional fights. But what mainly comes out is both sides of the FBI's and the American Government's dalliances with Italian fascism. It is not for the faint of heart. It is a damning indictment."
--Anarcho-Syndicalist Review

"A major gap in the radical history of the United States has at last been filled . . . 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."

"The book is extremely well written, with verve and punch.... It is the story of a colorful, heroic, flamboyant figure told in an accesible way that will earn a wide readership."
--Philip V. Cannistraro, co-author of Il Duce's Other Woman

"Nunzio Pernicone has clarified and corrected the historical record, shedding new light on the meaning of Tresca’s life and putting it fully into the context of a turbulent era. 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."--Spencer M. Di Scala, Professor and History Graduate Program Director, University of Massachusetts Boston.

"Carlo Tresca finally has the biography which he richly deserves. 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 unrelenting champion of liberty and justice."--Rudolph J. Vecoli, Professor of History, University of Minnesota

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403964786
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Series: Italian and Italian American Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nunzio Pernicone is Associate Professor of History, Drexel University. He is the author of Italian Anarchism, 1864-1892 and editor of The Autobiography of Carlo Tresca. He lives in Newtown, Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

• Revolutionary Apprenticeship
• "Il Proletario"
• Freelance of Revolution
• Tresca and the IWW
• Tresca and Flynn
• War and Repression
• Tresca and the Sacco-Vanzetti Case
• Postwar Activities
• Tresca the Anti-Fascist
• Frameup
• Fighting the Blackshirts
• The Town Anarchist *Tresca the Anti-Communist
• The Twilight Years
• Murder in the Dim-Out
• Epilogue

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