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Pietro Ingrao: a life of struggle (March 30, 1915 – September 27, 2015)

Duncan Thomas28 September 2015

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Pietro Ingrao, a hugely influential figure in Italian Communism, died yesterday, Sunday, 27th of September 2015, aged 100. A look back at his life reveals many of the debates in the post-war European left, as well as Ingrao's own commitment to a Marxism that was both uncompromising and dynamic.

Joining the Italian Communist Party (CPI) during the Second World War, Ingrao took up arms as an anti-fascist "Partisan". In the following decades, he represented the Marxist left of the PCI, clashing several times with the Party leadership as the latter adopted increasingly reformist positions. 

On Ingrao's hundredth birthday, long-time collaborator and ally Rossana Rossandra reflected on his life and contributions to the PCI. Read her full speech here.

Another "Ingraian", Luciana Castellina, expands on the internal battles within the PCI, and Ingrao's attempts not only to "democratise the Party", but to develop its theoretical positions in light of developments within contemporary capitalism.

Lucio Magri's The Tailor of Ulm assesses the rise and fall of the PCI and Ingrao's role in the tensions within the party. 

Rossana Rossandra's The Comrade from Milan reflects on a life of radical activism - one that she often shared with Ingrao. 

Antonio Negri'Books for Burning provides further context of the class struggles in post-war Italy that he, Ingrao and others participated in.

The New Old World by Perry Anderson analyses another major development in this period - namely, the foundation and evolution of the European Union. 

Finally, Luciana Castellina's Discovery of the World gives an intimate, personal account of political awakening in fascist Italy. 

For more on Italian Communism, explore the #ItalianCommunism archive on the Verso blog.

Filed under: italian-communism