Between Hollywood and Moscow: The Italian Communists and the by Stephen Gundle

By Stephen Gundle

Within the postwar years, Italy underwent a far-reaching means of industrialization that reworked the rustic right into a major business energy. all through such a lot of this era, the Italian Communist celebration (PCI) remained a robust strength in neighborhood executive and civil society. even if, as Stephen Gundle observes, the PCI used to be more and more confronted with demanding situations posed via modernization, really through mass verbal exchange, advertisement cultural industries, and consumerism. among Hollywood and Moscow is an research of the PCI’s makes an attempt to deal with those difficulties that allows you to hold its association and subculture.Gundle makes a speciality of the subject matter of cultural coverage, studying how the PCI’s political suggestions integrated cultural regulations and actions that have been meant to reply to the Americanization of lifestyle in Italy. In formulating this coverage, Gundle contends, the Italian Communists have been torn among loyalty to the choice values generated through the Communist culture and version to the dominant impacts of Italian modernization. This equilibrium finally faltered as the appealing facets of Americanization and dad tradition proved extra influential than the PCI’s highbrow and political traditions. the 1st research in English of the cultural regulations and actions of the PCI, this e-book will attract readers with an curiosity in glossy Italy, the eu left, political technology, and media reviews.

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Extra info for Between Hollywood and Moscow: The Italian Communists and the Challenge of Mass Culture, 1943-1991 (American Encounters Global Interactions)

Sample text

Fascism had undoubtedly been a parasitic and deeply regressive phenomenon, a block in many ways to national development, but it was wrong to imagine, as the left sometimes did, that everything had stood still for twenty years. The regime saw a phase of capitalist reorganization in Italy that lay the basis for the assumption of new interventionist functions in the economy and in society on the part of the state. Its formal framework may have changed little under Mussolini, but new institutions were created that controlled a state voluntary sector, administered 22 Between Hollywood and Moscow welfare, organized recreation, and produced and diffused news and entertainment by electronic means.

In pursuing educational objectives at the expense of other types of cultural activity aimed at winning mass consensus, the left fell into a dangerous trap. As the following extract from an article by Giulio Trevisani, the editor of Il Calendario del Popolo, a magazine committed to popular education, testifies, the notion of culture was itself taken to be synonymous with educational achievement: What is meant by ‘‘people’’ when we speak of popular culture? , from, alas, the very large number of illiterates.

From 1947 the pci assumed an identity somewhat different from that which had made it so strikingly novel a force in the period following Togliatti’s return to active politics. It took steps to reinforce the party organization and establish ideological conformity among its membership; it adopted a more confrontational approach on domestic issues and firmly opposed the country’s ever more complete alignment with the West. Yet although this approach reflected the pci’s conformity to the new hard-line of the international Communist movement, it did not herald the complete cancellation of the strategic initiatives embraced in 1944.

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