Carlo Tresca pp 249-264 | Cite as

The Last Years

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


All was not well with Tresca as he approached his sixtieth birthday on March 9, 1939. His health was generally poor. He was forty or fifty pounds overweight, his teeth were bad, his lungs weakened from emphysema due to more than forty years of smoking, and his face and chest occasionally hurt from injuries sustained in an automobile accident six years earlier.1 More pressing than his physical ailments, however, was the burden of Il Martell?, which he described to his friend Alberto Meschi in France as a “real and very heavy cross…, a sponge that dries me out.”2 The newspaper had operated continually in the red since its revival in 1934. Subscriptions and circulation were both declining, in part because of the Poyntz affair, and in part because of the now indelible misperception that Margaret was bearing the cost of publication. Tresca had drawn no salary since 1934, and had even contributed more than $2,000 from his own savings. In July 1938, he filed a petition for bankruptcy, claiming assets of $98.24 in cash and liabilities of $4,420.24 in unpaid debts, some of which dated from 1918.3 Tresca’s only recourse was to publishing irregularly (only 36 issues in 1938) and to revert to a biweekly publication.4


Union Leader Immigrant Working American Citizen Pearl Harbor Sixtieth Birthday 
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  1. 26.
    For the fuoruscit? and the Mazzini Society, see Diggins, Mussolini and Fascis? ,139–143, 344–345; Charles Killinger, Gaetano Salvemini: A Biograph? (Westport, CN: Praeger, 2002), 281–282Google Scholar
  2. Aldo Garosci, Storia dei fuoruscit? ( Bari: Laterza, 1953 ), 219–224Google Scholar
  3. Maddalena Titabassi, “La Mazzini Society (1940–1946): Un’associazione degli antifascisti italiani negli Stati Uniti,” in Giorgio Spini, Gian Giacomo Migone, and Massimo Teodori, eds., Italia e America dalla Grande Guerra a ogg? ( Venice: Marsilio, 1976 ), 141–158Google Scholar
  4. Max Salvadori, “Antifascisti Italiani negli Stati Uniti,” in Atti del I Congresso Internazionale di Storia Americana: Italia e Stati Uniti dall’Indipedenza Americana ad Ogg? (Genoa: Tilgher, 1978), 269–280; Consul General Vecchiotti to Ambassador Colonna, August 17, 1941, ACS, Min. Int., DGPS, PCP, Mario Tresca.Google Scholar
  5. 36.
    Montana, Amarostic?, 159–160; Philip V. Cannistraro, “Luigi Antonini and the Italian Anti-Fascist Movement in the United States, 1940–1943;” Journal of American Ethnic Histor? 5, 1 (fall 1985): 26.Google Scholar
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    See Philip V. Cannistraro and Elena Aga Rossi, “La politica etnica e il dilemma dell’antifascismo italiano negli Stati Uniti: Il caso di Generoso Pope;” Storia Contemporane? 17, 2 (April 1986): 217–243.Google Scholar
  7. 56.
    Robert D’Attilio, “Glittering Traces of Tina Modotti,” View? (summer 1985): 8–9. Vidali rejected these charges as baseless slander originating from his detractors. See Dal Messico a Murmans?, 85.Google Scholar
  8. 66.
    FBI Memo Re: Carlo Tresca, February 17, 1943, Tresca. FBI File. Most of the information in this memo is based on the account by Ezio Taddei, The Tresca Cas? (New York: n.p., 1943 ).Google Scholar
  9. 68.
    Joseph Bonnano with Sergio Lalli, A Man of Honor: The Autobiography of Joseph Bonnan? ( NewYork: Simon and Schuster, 1983 ), 190.Google Scholar

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© Nunzio Pernicone 2005

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