Revolutionary Apprenticeship

  • Nunzio Pernicone
Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


Gently spread across the Valle Peligna and commanded on two sides by Apennine massifs in the Abruzzi region of Italy is the town of Sulmona, birthplace of the Roman poet Ovid. At one end of the Corso Ovidio, Sulmona’s main artery, stands a bronze bust of another native son, Carlo Tresca. Sculpted by Minna Harkavy, this statuette bears the inscription, “Carlo Tresca: Socialist Exile, Martyr of Liberty.” Until recently, most Sulmonese know little more than that about the young firebrand who challenged the town’s rich and powerful at the turn of the century and then emigrated to the United States.1


Class Struggle Railroad Worker Roman Poet Religious Devotion Italian Wine 
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  1. 1.
    See Italia Gualtieri, ed., Carlo Tresca: Vita e morte di un anarchico italiano in America ( Chieti: Casa Editrice Tinari, 1994 ).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For details regarding Tresca’s parents, see The Autobiography of Carlo Tresca, edited by Nunzio Pernicone (New York: The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, 2003), 1–7; Guadagni and Vidal, Omaggio, 6–7. Also, the author’s interview with Tresca’s daughter, Beatrice Tresca Rapport, Arlington, MA, November 12–14, 1973. After the initial interview, Mrs. Rapport provided the author with additional information in several lengthy letters and more than a dozen long-distance telephone calls. For the sake of brevity, only the interview will be cited hereafter.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Giovanni Giolitti, Discorsi parlamentari, 2 vols. (Rome: Camera dei Deputati, 1953–1956), 2:633.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    See Rinaldo Rigola, Storia del movimento operaio italiano (Milan: Editoriale Domus, 1947), 158–159, 214–223, 282–283Google Scholar
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  7. Nunzio Pernicone, “The Italian Labor Movement,” in Edward R. Tannenbaum and Emiliana Noether, eds., Modern Italy: A Topical History Since 1861 ( New York: New York University Press, 1974 ), 201–203.Google Scholar
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    Alfredo Angiolini and Eugenio Ciacchi, Socialismo e socialisti in Italia (Florence: Casa Editrice Nerbini, 1919), 367, 381Google Scholar
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    Ibid.; Angiolini and Ciacchi, Socialismo e socialisti in Italia, 559–563; Christopher Seton-Watson, Italy from Liberalism to Fascism (London: Methuan, 1967 ), 255–256; Il Germe ( Sulmona ), March 2, 1902.Google Scholar
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    Il Germe, July 26, 1903; Libertario Guerrini, Organizzazioni e lotte dei ferrovieri italiani, vol. I: 1862–1907 (Florence: Nuova Stampa, 1957), 237.Google Scholar
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    Ibid., 67–68; Renzo De Felice, Mussolini il rivoluzionario, 1883–1920 ( Turin: Giulio Einaudi Editore, 1965 ), 35.Google Scholar

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© Nunzio Pernicone 2005

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  • Nunzio Pernicone

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