Levi’s Western

“Professional Plot” and History in If Not Now, When?
  • Mirna Cicioni
Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


If Not Now, When?, published in 1982 and loosely based on historical facts, tells the story of a band of Eastern European Jewish partisans carrying out guerrilla activities against the German army between 1943 and 1945, in a westward progress from the forests of the Western Soviet Union to Milan, on their way to Palestine.1 It is generally judged to be Levi’s weakest work and it has not attracted significant critical attention, particularly in the English-speaking world. Its clear didactic aims are to show that some Jews, as Jews, did take up arms to fight the Germans, and to introduce the variety of Eastern European Jewish cultures to Levi’s Italian readers.


Grand Narrative Official History Action Text Stock Character Band Member 
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Copyright information

© Risa Sodi and Millicent Marcus 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirna Cicioni
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarUSA

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