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4 October 1984
... On 7 June 1984, at the time of the European election campaign, EnricoBerlinguer was delivering the concluding speech at a Communist Party rally in Padua. It was wet and windy, as it had been in Italy the whole of the preceding month, and it suddenly became clear that the ...

Italy’s Communists

Jonathan Steinberg

21 July 1983
After Poland 
by Enrico Berlinguer, translated by Antonio Bronda and Stephen Boddington.
Spokesman, 114 pp., £2.25, March 1982, 0 85124 344 4
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... Fascists on the island of Ponza, Amendola lectured to his fellow Communists, working-class or peasant almost to a man, on the history of Italian literature and philosophy. In this wider sense, when Berlinguer said in his 1983 New Year’s message that the PCI ‘was deeply rooted in the history of the country’, he underlined a social as well as a political reality. The PCI is proud of its cultura ...

Messages from the Mafia

Federico Varese: Berlusconi’s underworld connections

6 January 2005
Berlusconi’s Shadow: Crime, Justice and the Pursuit of Power 
by David Lane.
Allen Lane, 336 pp., £18.99, August 2004, 0 7139 9787 7
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Silvio Berlusconi: Television, Power and Patrimony 
by Paul Ginsborg.
Verso, 189 pp., £16, June 2004, 1 84467 000 7
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... power promoted ‘moderate’ values by ruthlessly eliminating the alternatives, thereby appearing to Pasolini even more totalitarian than historical Fascism. Thirty years ago, the efforts made by EnricoBerlinguer, secretary general of the Communist Party, to convince Italians of the virtues of limiting consumption to essential goods represented a genuine attempt at mitigating, if not preventing ...

Further Left

R.W. Johnson

16 August 1990
Prepared for the worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Hogarth, 357 pp., £9.99, July 1990, 0 7012 0903 8
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Blood, Class and Nostalgia: Anglo-American Ironies 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Chatto, 398 pp., £18, July 1990, 0 7011 3361 9
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... its warts and imperfections. Similarly, writing about Djilas, he slots in a throwaway dismissal of Eurocommunism: ‘presented as a bland and sophisticated business. There is the Gucci socialism of EnricoBerlinguer or the petit commerçant compromise of Georges Marchais, both redolent of the main chance.’ Now the use of the word ‘Gucci’ is a bad American journalistic habit, a brand name used as ...

Poker Face

Eric Hobsbawm: Palmiro Togliatti

8 April 2010
Palmiro Togliatti: A Biography 
by Aldo Agosti, translated by Vanna Derosas and Jane Ennis.
Tauris, 339 pp., £51.50, 1 84511 726 3
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Il sarto di Ulm: Una possibile storia del PCI 
by Lucio Magri.
Il Saggiatore, 454 pp., €21, October 2009, 978 88 428 1608 9
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... twice the official Socialists’ share). Optimists thought it might soon poll more than the Christian Democrats. By now, under the leadership of Togliatti’s successors, first Luigi Longo and then EnricoBerlinguer, the Party, heading a Eurocommunist movement, had established a clear distinction between its aims and those of the Soviet Union. More than this, the PCI had won what looked like a lasting ...
12 March 2009
... and fantasies – schlock so wretched the very term would be too kind for them. Unable to confront or turn the change, for a decade the PCI sought to resist it. The party’s last real leader, EnricoBerlinguer, personified austere contempt for the self-indulgence and infantilism of the new universe of cultural and material consumption. After he had gone, the step from unbending refusal to ...
21 May 2014
... out of turn against the invasion of Czechoslovakia. With slots in both the secretariat and political bureau, he was widely viewed as the next leader of the PCI. In the event, the post went to EnricoBerlinguer as a less divisive figure. But Napolitano remained a leading ornament of the party as it shifted towards Eurocommunism. In the late 1970s, he was picked as the PCI’s first envoy to reassure the ...

Land without Prejudice

Perry Anderson: Berlusconi’s Italy

21 March 2002
... of the PCI began to detach itself more openly from Moscow. But after years of caution the only way it could think of doing so was to swing to the opposite pole of Washington – its last real leader, EnricoBerlinguer, declaring that the Party felt safer under the protection of Nato. Its well-wishers in the media applauded, but it did not gain greater electoral credibility. When the Berlin Wall came ...

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