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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which deals with Antonio Gramsci's work as an activist and as a theorist of the Italian and international communist movements during Italy's tormented transition from liberalism to Fascism. The international ramifications of his political activities from the early 1920s to 1932 are at the core of the book. Gramsci was a revolutionary well before Benito Mussolini took power in October 1922. He was radicalised by Fascism, which compelled him to deepen his analysis of Italy's class structure and at the same time led him to reflect more systematically on several of the social and cultural problems that were later to occupy his attention in the Prison Notebooks. The book looks at Gramsci in relation to other prominent personalities of the twentieth century who, to one degree or another, invite comparison with him for a number of reasons.

Keywords: Antonio Gramsci; Benito Mussolini; fascism; international communist movements; Italy



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