Italian Socialism: Between Politics and History

discala-italian-socialismItalian Socialism: Between Politics and History (UMass, 1996)

As the scandal known as Tangentopoli was exploding in Italy, Di Scala organized an international symposium on Italian Socialism that was held at the John F. Kennedy Library in 1993 (the one hundredth anniversary of the party’s foundation occurred in 1992). This book is the result of that symposium.

The international symposium brought together the best Italian and American scholars on Italian Socialism that reviewed the one hundred year history of the movement. The chapters in this book come up to the time of the book’s publication. They give a clear history, from the various perspectives of the most important scholars on the subject, from the Socialist Party’s origins till its end. The book celebrates the Party’s achievements and analyzes its downfall.

After a century of participation in the political culture of Europe, the Italian Socialist party – damaged by corruption and payoff scandals – is all but defunct. This collection of original essays on the history and condition of Italian socialism celebrates its achievements and analyzes its downfall. The chapters trace the Italian Socialist party from its birth in the late nineteenth century, through the crisis brought on by Italian Fascism, into the unstable world of postwar democracy. Authors include American and Italian scholars and Italian political participants and commentators who gathered on the 100th anniversary of the party’s birth, just as the scandals were breaking that would lead to its dissolution. The book contributes to the ongoing discussion about the “death of the Left” and will be a valuable addition to the literature on modern Italian history.

Praise for Italian Socialism

“An important and in many respects unique contribution to our understanding of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI). Di Scala deserves special praise for having brought together a stellar array of experts, who provide keen insight into the history and demise of the PSI….Compelling and authoritative.” —Nunzio Pernicone, author of Italian Anarchism

“Celebrates the achievements of Italian socialism and analyzes its downfall, tracing the Italian Socialist party from its birth in the late 19th century, through the crisis brought on by Italian fascism, into the unstable world of postwar democracy. Based on the March 1993 international symposium, ‘One Hundred years of Italian Democratic Socialism, 1892-1992,’ held in Boston, Massachusetts.” Book News