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Anniversaries of the October Revolution in the political-cultural magazine of the Italian Communist Party: Rinascita, 1957-1987

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To analyse the changes in the way the Italian Communist Party (PCI) was connected historically with the October Revolution and its legacy, it is useful to look at the pages of Rinascita, the political and cultural magazine of the party, on the occasion of four important anniversaries of the revolution of 1917. Behind these changes we can also read the evolution of the PCI's relationship with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), with the Soviet Union as a state and with the experience that it represented for the international workers' movement and for the workers' movement in Italy.

Rinascita was founded in 1944 by the leader of the PCI, Palmiro Togliatti, following his return to Italy from Moscow and during the Svolta di Salerno and the PCI's 'refounding' as a 'new kind of party'. Appearing monthly until 1962, and then weekly, the periodical was meant to 'be an ideological guide' for militants and contribute to the 'recovery of the Marxist movement' and to the 'battle of ideas'. Edited by Togliatti until the end of his life, Rinascita was, therefore, one of the PCI's main tools of political-cultural engagement, and in this sense provides an important perspective on the evolution of the party's ideological and political profile.

This paper will look at the editions and articles on the October revolution and Soviet experience published by Rinascita on the occasion of the four ten-year anniversaries of 1957, 1967, 1977 and 1987. Beginning with the 1967 anniversary, it will also consider the PCI's magazine Critica marxista, which was dedicated to political theory and had been founded four years earlier. Through the commemorations and reflections on the October Revolution the article will interpret some of the features of the PCI's political culture and its transformation over these four decades, from Togliatti to Berlinguer and beyond.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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  • Twentieth Century Communism provides an international forum for the latest research on the subject and an entry-point into key developments and debates not immediately accessible to English-language historians. Its main focus is on the period of the Russian revolution (1917-91) and on the activities of communist parties themselves but its remit also extends to the movement's antecedents and rivals, the responses to communism of political competitors and state systems, and to the cultural as well as political influence of communism.
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