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Berlinguer’s Legacy

Paul Ginsborg, 4 October 1984

... On 7 June 1984, at the time of the European election campaign, Enrico Berlinguer 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 Communist Party Secretary was not feeling well ...

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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... 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. Members of the party point to the fact that prominent ...

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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... to Pasolini even more totalitarian than historical Fascism. Thirty years ago, the efforts made by Enrico Berlinguer, 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, the coming of American consumerism to Italy. Although ...

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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... Eurocommunism: ‘presented as a bland and sophisticated business. There is the Gucci socialism of Enrico Berlinguer 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 a too easy sneer word and thus a rather cheap way ...

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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... Democrats. By now, under the leadership of Togliatti’s successors, first Luigi Longo and then Enrico Berlinguer, 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 position of leadership – and a reputation for ...

An Invertebrate Left

Perry Anderson, 12 March 2009

... or turn the change, for a decade the PCI sought to resist it. The party’s last real leader, Enrico Berlinguer, 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 gushing capitulation was a short one – Walter Veltroni ...

The Italian Disaster

Perry Anderson, 22 May 2014

... bureau, he was widely viewed as the next leader of the PCI. In the event, the post went to Enrico Berlinguer 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 United States of its Atlantic ...

Land without Prejudice

Perry Anderson: Berlusconi’s Italy, 21 March 2002

... could think of doing so was to swing to the opposite pole of Washington – its last real leader, Enrico Berlinguer, 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 down in 1989, a new leadership hastily jettisoned the ...

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