By Alessandro Brogi
During the chilly battle, the U.S. encountered unforeseen demanding situations from Italy and France, international locations with the most powerful, and determinedly such a lot anti-American, Communist events in Western Europe. dependent totally on new facts from communist files in France and Italy, in addition to study information within the usa, Alessandro Brogi's unique research unearths how the U.S. was once pressured through political competition inside those middle Western nations to reconsider its personal anticommunist innovations, its snapshot, and the final which means of yank liberal capitalist tradition and ideology.
Brogi exhibits that the resistance to Americanization used to be a serious try out for the French and Italian communists' personal legitimacy and life. Their anti-Americanism was once generally dogmatic and pushed via the Soviet Union, however it used to be additionally, at an important instances, refined and ambivalent, nurturing fascination with the yankee tradition of dissent. The staunchly anticommunist usa, Brogi argues, chanced on a profitable stability to struggling with the communist risk in France and Italy via utilizing international relations and fostering circumstances of gentle dissent in either international locations. eventually, either the French and Italian communists did not adapt to the forces of modernization that stemmed either from indigenous elements and from American impression. Confronting America illuminates the political, diplomatic, fiscal, and cultural conflicts in the back of the U.S.-communist confrontation.
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Additional info for Confronting America: The Cold War between the United States and the Communists in France and Italy
27 The Communists conveyed a mystical appeal in a different way, counting on the enduring myth of the French Revolution. The republican legacy was their strongest weapon, one that stressed the statist, rationalist, secular nature of French patriotism. But in comparative terms, de Gaulle’s rhetoric of independence trumped the communist one: unlike his Marxist counterparts, he needed no dialectic paradigm to prove connections between workers, the party, Stalin the liberator, and the French. ”28 The General never stigmatized the PCF’s revolutionary credentials, for he recognized the revolutionary nature of France; instead he assaulted communist separatism.
In a February 1945 interview with the Catholic weekly Temps présent, Thorez made sure to specify that “Marxism was not a NATIONAL REBIRTH IN FRANCE AND ITALY 25 dogma,” and that it would adapt to national and cultural circumstances. This was the beginning of a strategy described as the main tendue, a hand outstretched to the Catholic masses. In appealing to the “Republican Christian masses” against the Church hierarchy, philosopher Roger Garaudy specified, the PCF upheld rather than attacked France’s spiritual traditions.
But in the elections for the first Legislative Assembly of the Fourth Republic in November 1946, the PCF reached its historic peak with more that 28 percent of the vote, becoming the largest party in the country. Also, the gradual conquest of the CGT between 1945 and 1947 remained one of the fundamental instruments of pressure over the industrial patronat and national industry in general. Finally, as in Italy, tactical cooperation with the Christian Democrats was not immediately ruled out, despite the PCF’s strong anticlerical traditions.
Confronting America: The Cold War between the United States and the Communists in France and Italy by Alessandro Brogi