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Malatesta, Errico (1853–1932)

Carl Levy


Errico Malatesta was the leading Italian anarchist from the 1890s to the 1930s, with a career that encapsulated the movement's greatest period of influence and spanned the Risorgimento , Liberal Italy, and Fascism. He lived between the era of Bakunin and Mussolini and knew them both. His unique theoretical position and his frenetic activism coincided with and helped shape anarchism from the last quarter of the nineteenth century until the 1930s. For much of his life he was in exile and in this respect he is a prime exemplar of the nomadic anarchist and syndicalist movements, which emerged in an era of globalization before World War I. Although Malatesta was a key figure in the First International in Italy in the 1870s and early 1880s, his sojourns in Italy between 1885 and 1919 were sporadic if inevitably dramatic. The government of the day was terrified by his presence during the popular Fasci Siciliani movement (1893–4), the risings of 1897–8, La Settimana Rossa (Red Week) of 1914, and the Biennio Rosso (Red Biennium) of 1919–20. As a longtime exile in the capital of the capitalist world, London, for almost thirty years between the 1880s and 1919, Malatesta mixed with a cross-section of Europe's exiled radicals and with the local progressive and radical intelligentsia and representatives of the parties of the left and trade union movement. Malatesta also spent considerable ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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