Cover of The Rise and Fall of the Italian Communist Party by Silvio Pons
The Rise and Fall of the Italian Communist Party
A Transnational History
Silvio Pons

October 2024
412 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503638839


Excerpts and More

This book reassesses the history of Italian communism in international perspective. Analyzing the rise and fall of the Italian Communist Party as a case study in the global history of communism, Silvio Pons considers a wide range of relational and temporal contexts, from the practices of internationalism to the training of militants and leaders, and to networks established not only in Europe but also in the colonial and postcolonial world. Pons focuses on the attempts of the Italian Communist Party to forge an intellectually defensible party program that combined the international demands of Moscow with the Italians' attempts to develop their own foreign and domestic policies according to their own political circumstances. Following three leaders of the Italian Communist Party (Antonio Gramsci, Palmiro Togliatti, and Enrico Berlinguer) from the First World War to the fall of the Soviet Union, Silvio Pons considers the broader relationship between communism and Cold War history, the history of decolonization, and the rise of "Europe" as a political category.

About the author

Silvio Pons is Professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, and Director of the Gramsci Institute.

"Silvio Pons masterfully surveys how important Italian thinkers and leaders were to the twentieth-century Left, and how broadly influential communism was in global political visions and exchanges. No scholar is better equipped to present Italian communist sources or to explain the complexities of the relationship with Moscow; here that story is valuably contextualized in light of the Italian 'rediscovery' of the decolonizing world."

—Molly Tambor, LIU Post

"With the translation of this seminal book by one of Italy's leading historians, the English-speaking world now can gain an authoritative understanding of the causes and consequences of the once-mighty Italian Communist Party's momentous demise. Silvio Pons offers a fresh and original interpretation of the three leading protagonists in this epic story: Antonio Gramsci, Palmiro Togliatti, and Enrico Berlinguer."

—Richard Drake, University of Montana