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Luigi Galleani

Luigi Galleani

The Most Dangerous Anarchist in America. by Antonio Senta. AK Press 2019

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“In the vast panorama of research on the history of the Italian anarchist movement, a recent study on one of its leading figures was missing: Luigi Galleani. Thankfully, Senta has brought to light the authentic thought of Galleani (often mistakenly confused with that of his friends), his remarkable political intelligence, and his ability to understand his time and the world around him.” —Tobia Imperato, Umanità Nova

“Accurate and complete, this biography not only fills a historiographical void by incorporating and updating texts by previous authors ... but qualifies itself, above all, as original research conducted by amassing an important amount of archival material.” —Giorgio Sacchetti, A: rivista anarchica

Born in Vercelli in 1861, Luigi Galleani is considered, with Errico Malatesta, the most influential militant of Italian-speaking anarchism. First in Italy and then in the United States, where he arrived at age forty, he was well-known as a tireless thinker, agitator, and public speaker who attracted large numbers of workers to the revolutionary cause and, often, to acts of direct action and “propaganda of the deed.” Though frequently glimpsed in numerous histories of radical movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, little has been written about Galleani in English. This book, translated from the Italian, brings the fascinating biography of one of the most charismatic exponents of workers' struggles to a new audience. The result of a fruitful collaboration between Antonio Senta, a scholar of anarchist history, and Sean Sayers, a philosopher and Galleani’s grandson, it skillfully animates Galleani’s life and ideas, from his early life in Italy, though his time in America, to his deportation back to his homeland, where he was soon jailed by the Fascists. Senta’s portrayal of the man who edited the infamous Cronaca Sovversiva and inspired a movement of “Galleanisti,” which included such figures as the political martyrs Sacco and Vanzetti, provides a thorough introduction to the man and his times, one that will reward both scholars and activists.

Antonio Senta is a researcher in contemporary history at the University of Trieste (Italy). He has worked as an archivist for the International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam) and with several Italian anarchist archives. A well-known writer on the history of anarchism, his works include La pratica dell’autogestione, Elèuthera, Milano (2017 (with Guido Candela); L’altra rivoluzione. Tre percorsi di storia dell’anarchismo, (2016); Utopia e azione. Per una storia dell’anarchismo in Italia 1848-1984, (2015).

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