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By Alessandro Brogi

During the chilly struggle, the U.S. encountered unforeseen demanding situations from Italy and France, international locations with the most powerful, and determinedly so much anti-American, Communist events in Western Europe. dependent totally on new facts from communist files in France and Italy, in addition to study documents within the usa, Alessandro Brogi's unique learn finds how the U.S. was once compelled through political competition inside of those center Western international locations to re-evaluate its personal anticommunist suggestions, its photo, and the overall which means of yank liberal capitalist tradition and ideology.

Brogi exhibits that the resistance to Americanization used to be a serious try for the French and Italian communists' personal legitimacy and lifestyles. Their anti-Americanism was once generally dogmatic and pushed by way of the Soviet Union, however it was once additionally, at the most important occasions, sophisticated and ambivalent, nurturing fascination with the yankee tradition of dissent. The staunchly anticommunist usa, Brogi argues, discovered a profitable stability to battling the communist probability in France and Italy via making use of international relations and fostering situations of light dissent in either international locations. finally, either the French and Italian communists didn't adapt to the forces of modernization that stemmed either from indigenous elements and from American impact. Confronting America illuminates the political, diplomatic, financial, and cultural conflicts in the back of the U.S.-communist confrontation.

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Additional resources for Confronting America: The Cold War between the United States and the Communists in France and Italy

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A stalemate with the Communists in fact justified the DC’s hegemonic role in the government. 22 NATIONAL REBIRTH IN FRANCE AND ITALY While establishing its grip on the state apparatus, the DC also represented its fragmentation: its best leverage was at the community, parish level. In this sense the Christian Democrats profited from Italy’s particularism and weak state structure even more than the Communists did. Philosopher Benedetto Croce, whose legacy the centrist parties were trying to claim, warned in 1944 that statist “totalitarian” nationalism had been an aberration in the Italian experience, and the country should do all it could to avoid its repetition.

Considering the crucial role of intellectuals in shaping Italy’s modern national identity in the nineteenth century, cultural recognition became an essential component in recovering Italy’s international prestige after World War II as well. Given the two nations’ twin intellectual distinction, it is no wonder that their Communist Parties fought for minds as a means of achieving both domestic and international power. ”58 There can be no doubt that the gravitation of many influential intellectuals toward communism increased the two parties’ political clout.

Given the General’s extraordinary record of service, it was he who ultimately managed to dominate the French discourse on national pride and independence. But at first this was by no means clear. As Pierre Nora has best demonstrated, immediately after the war there were commonalities between Gaullists and Communists. ”24 While the emphasis on a Gaullist rejection of modernity was, as well known, questionable, a strong sense of the superiority of French civilization informed the rhetoric and beliefs of both leading factions of the Resistance.

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