An outstanding scholar and political figure, Gaetano Salvemini had a reputation as one of the most courageous figures of his age. As a member of the Italian Socialist Party he championed social and political reform as a party activist, political commentator, and public officeholder. He fought for universal suffrage (including for women); in World War One he stood for his own version of a Wilsonian peace; and he is counted among the earliest and most effective opponents of Fascism. It was said that the Fascists were anti-Salvemini before he became anti-Fascist, and their efforts to silence him made his name synonymous with early Italian resistance to the new regime.
A prominent exile in the United States, he resumed his scholarly work at Harvard through the help of friends and supporters. But never one to separate scholarship from political activity, he also continued to actively organize resistance to Mussolini, assisted others in escaping Italy, and played an important role in galvanizing both elite and public opinion in America against the Fascist regime. This groundbreaking biography is based on previously untapped archival resources.
About the Author:
CHARLES KILLINGER is a professor of history at Valencia Community College.