The Tailor of Ulm: A History of Communism

Overview

Twenty years have passed since the Italian Communists’ last Congress in 1991, in which the death of their party was decreed. It was a deliberate death, accelerated by the desire for a “new beginning.” That new beginning never came, and the world lost an invaluable, complex political, organizational and theoretical heritage.

In this detailed and probing work, Lucio Magri, one of the towering intellectual figures of the Italian Left, assesses the causes for the demise of what was ...

See more details below
Hardcover (New Edition)
$44.12
BN.com price
(Save 26%)$59.95 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $32.73   
  • New (6) from $32.38   
  • Used (3) from $32.91   
Sending request ...

Overview

Twenty years have passed since the Italian Communists’ last Congress in 1991, in which the death of their party was decreed. It was a deliberate death, accelerated by the desire for a “new beginning.” That new beginning never came, and the world lost an invaluable, complex political, organizational and theoretical heritage.

In this detailed and probing work, Lucio Magri, one of the towering intellectual figures of the Italian Left, assesses the causes for the demise of what was once one of the most powerful and vibrant communist parties of the West. The PCI marked almost a century of Italian history, from its founding in 1921 to the partisan resistance, the turning point of Salerno in 1944 to the de-Stalinization of 1956, the long ’68 to the “historic compromise,” and to the opportunity—missed forever—of democratic transformation.

With rigor and passion, The Tailor of Ulm merges an original and enlightening interpretation of Italian communism with the experience of a militant “heretic” into a riveting read—capable of broadening our insights into contemporary Italy, and the twentieth-century communist experience.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The first of Magri's works to be translated into English is an exhaustive history of 20th-century communism around the world. Magri, who passed away in November 2011, devoted his life to politics and the Italian Communist Party, or PCI (Partito Comunista Italiano). He offers a unique viewpoint on recent history, and shares information that will be new to many Western readers. Magri begins with a review of important historical moments, discussing the events and implications of the Russian Revolution, the rise of the Communist Party, the Cold War, and the Marshall Plan, all of which Magri believes led to a "bipolar balance of power, involving peaceful competition between two systems and a limitation of military conflict to regional frameworks." In its heyday—the 1960s—, the PCI "was part of an international movement that governed a third of the world, within which it had finally achieved autonomy." But 50 years later, it inexplicably "wrote itself out of history, with the aim of making a ‘fresh start'" that never came to be. Magri goes on to explain the internal conflict that ultimately led to the defeat of the PCI—"at the polls and in its relationship to the masses"—, changes in world politics in the 1980s-1990s, and the congressional swan song of the PCI in ‘91. Those with a strong interest in modern history or political movements will find this densely detailed work compelling and thought-provoking. (Jan.)
New Left Review
“How should the Left think about the Communist experience today? A founding theorist of Il manifesto reflects on the need for critical examination of the past-and the lessons to be drawn for the future from the Italian Communist Party's trajectory.”
Eric Hobsbawm
“The decline and fall [of Italian Communism] is the subject of Magri's extremely shrewd and despondent book ... the final cry of someone whose life belongs to a world that has gone for ever.”
From the Publisher
“How should the Left think about the Communist experience today? A founding theorist of Il manifesto reflects on the need for critical examination of the past-and the lessons to be drawn for the future from the Italian Communist Party’s trajectory.”—New Left Review

“The decline and fall [of Italian Communism] is the subject of Magri’s extremely shrewd and despondent book ... the final cry of someone whose life belongs to a world that has gone for ever.”—Eric Hobsbawm, London Review of Books

“This beautifully written and meticulously researched volume should be of interest to scholars of communism, the European Left, Italy, and the Cold War. Recommended.”—Choice (Current Reviews for Academic Libraries)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844676989
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 10/24/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 444
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucio Magri joined the Italian Communist Party in the mid 1950s. In 1969, he was expelled from the PCI along with the group of dissidents who had founded the journal il manifesto. Active in the Independent Left and the peace movement over the next two decades, Magri became one of the leaders of Rifondazione Comunista in 1991 and the editor of la Rivista del manifesto.

A translator from Romanian, Spanish, German, French, and Italian, Patrick Camiller has translated many works, including Dumitru Tsepeneag’s Vain Art of the Fugue, The Necessary Marriage, and Hotel Europa.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)