Carlo Tresca: Portrait of a Rebel by Nunzio Pernicone

By Nunzio Pernicone

This biography finds the lifetime of one of many American left's such a lot arguable and charismatic figures within the early 20th century: anarchist, activist, and progressive Carlo Tresca. Emigrating to the US at age twenty-five from Italy, Tresca turned a pacesetter within the struggle for employees' rights, along activists like Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Emma Goldman. Tresca performed many jobs for his reason: newspaper editor, hard work agitator and organizer, civil libertarian, anti-fascist, and an indomitable foe of Stalinism. He persevered to struggle for the rights of the oppressed till gunned down via Mafioso Carmine Galante, a criminal offense which might by no means be prosecuted. This attractive e-book not just relates Tresca's adventure-filled tale, yet brings to existence the risky global of radical politics in early 20th century America.

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47 In fact, coal miners constituted one of the largest and most militant contingents of the Italian immigrant Left, and it was among their ranks that Tresca derived his strongest support. The highest concentrations of Italian coal miners were in the anthracite region of eastern Pennsylvania and the bituminous region of the western counties. 48 For Tresca, Italian coal miners represented an army of disinherited plebes for whom he might serve as revolutionary leader. His first expressions of solidarity dated from the coal miners’ strike in Colorado and Utah in 1904, but his special bond with them was forged during the early propaganda tours of 1906.

Tresca responded by rejecting Petriella’s insistence that the socialist revolution could be won at the ballot box thanks to universal suffrage, declaring it was absurd to believe the bourgeoisie would peaceably relinquish its monopoly of power and allow itself to be expropriated by legal means. When reformists like Petriella advocated parliamentary action as the sole means by which to build a socialist society, Tresca believed they were anesthetizing the masses to the realities of the class struggle.

Copies of the articles written by Tresca and Giovanni Di Silvestro, translated for the court by the consul’s own secretary, were woefully inaccurate; yet the most offensive portions were read into the record. Incriminating material produced by Tresca and Di Silvestro was not allowed into evidence on the grounds that the consul of a foreign country was not a public officer whose conduct could be criticized in the public press. Nor were they permitted to explain the basis of their accusations. The prosecutor, on the other hand, was permitted to focus not only on Tresca’s IL PROLETARIO 31 offending articles but also on his libel conviction in Italy and his flight from Italian justice.

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