Italian Immigrant Radical Culture

Marcella Bencivenni, Hostos Community College

Italian Americans possess a vibrant, if largely forgotten, radical past. In this presentation, Marcella Bencivenni, author of Italian Immigrant Radical Culture: The Idealism of the Sovversivi in the United States (1890-1940) (New York University Press, 2011), delves into the history of the sovversivi, a transnational generation of social rebels, and offers a fascinating portrait of their political struggle as well as their milieu and artistic creativity in the United States. Forming their own alternative press, institutions, and working class organizations, these groups created a vigorous movement and counterculture that constituted a significant part of the American Left until World War II. Historian Nunzio Pernicone, Drexel University, will join Professor Bencivenni in a discussion of her book.