By Stephen Gundle
Within the postwar years, Italy underwent a far-reaching technique of industrialization that reworked the rustic right into a best business strength. all through such a lot of this era, the Italian Communist celebration (PCI) remained a strong strength in neighborhood govt and civil society. even if, as Stephen Gundle observes, the PCI used to be more and more confronted with demanding situations posed by way of modernization, really by way of mass communique, advertisement cultural industries, and consumerism. among Hollywood and Moscow is an research of the PCI’s makes an attempt to deal with those difficulties for you to retain its association and subculture.Gundle specializes in the topic of cultural coverage, reading how the PCI’s political suggestions integrated cultural regulations and actions that have been meant to reply to the Americanization of lifestyle in Italy. In formulating this coverage, Gundle contends, the Italian Communists have been torn among loyalty to the choice values generated through the Communist culture and model to the dominant affects of Italian modernization. This equilibrium ultimately faltered as the appealing elements of Americanization and pa tradition proved extra influential than the PCI’s highbrow and political traditions. the 1st research in English of the cultural regulations and actions of the PCI, this booklet will entice readers with an curiosity in smooth Italy, the eu left, political technology, and media experiences.
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Extra info for Between Hollywood and Moscow: The Italian Communists and the Challenge of Mass Culture, 1943-1991 (American Encounters Global Interactions)
The deep resonance of the American impact on Italian popular culture was evident in the new products furnished by a publishing industry that clearly traded heavily on the enthusiasm for bright, visual forms of communication. Film magazines such as Hollywood enjoyed a wide following in urban areas; in June 1946 the ﬁrst issue of Grand Hôtel appeared, an illustrated weekly that presented the classic themes of popular romantic literature in a graphic form. An enormously successful publication whose initial print run of 650,000 soon rose to over 1 million copies per week, Grand Hôtel ’s cover always featured brightly colored illustrations of a starry-eyed young couple that not only made it stand out on any newsstand but also constituted an explicit invitation to enter an imagiThe Pen and the Sword 33 nary world of dreams and romance.
Among intellectuals, writers, and educated persons in general the prospect of a complete regeneration in national life was highly attractive. The proclamations and debates published at the end of the war in the left-wing and radically oriented magazines, including Il Ponte, Società, and Il Politecnico, indicated that reconstruction was seen as a global project investing the whole organization of social life. ’’ Yet reconstruction was also unitary and consensual, and no more so than in the values of humanity, solidarity, and progress that it was seen to express.
It was thought that mass products produced by commercial enterprises or imported from the United States furnished a set of ideas and suggestions that favored individual, private solutions to life’s problems in contrast to the faith in collective action and social solidarity that marked all strands of left-wing thinking as well as Catholic models in Italy. But at the same time there was a strong strain of cultural conservatism that revealed itself in a prejudicial hostility toward new and visual forms of communication that offered an immediate and predominantly emotional sensation of aesthetic pleasure.