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Between Hollywood and Moscow

In the post-war years, Italy underwent a far-reaching process of industrialisation that transformed the country into a leading industrial power. Throughout most of this period, the Italian Communist Party (PCI) remained a powerful force in local government and civil society. However, as Stephen Gundle observes, the PCI was increasingly faced with challenges posed by modernisation, particularly by mass communication, commercial cultural industries, and consumerism. "Between Hollywood and Moscow" is an analysis of the PCI's attempts to cope with these problems in an effort to maintain its organisation and subculture. Gundle focuses on the theme of cultural policy, discussing how the PCI's political strategies incorporated cultural policies and activities that were intended to respond to the Americanisation of daily life in Italy. In formulating this policy, Gundle contends, the Italian Communists were torn between loyalty to the alternative values generated by the Communist tradition and adaptation to the dominant influences of Italian modernisation. This equilibrium eventually faltered because the attractive aspects of Americanisation and pop culture proved more influential than the PCI's intellectual and political traditions. The first analysis in English of the cultural policies and activities of the PCI, this book will appeal to readers with an interest in modern Italy, the European left, political science, and media studies.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments List of Illustrations Introduction Chapter One: Between Hollywood and Moscow Politics, Culture, and Society after the Fall of Fascism Chapter Two: Bread, Love, and Political Strife Cold War Communism and the Development of Cultural Policy Chapter Three: What's Good for Fiat is Good for Italy Television, Consumerism, and Party Identity in the 1950s Chapter Four: From Elvis Presley to Ho Chi Minh Youth Culture and Cultural Conflict Between the Centre Left and the Hot Autumn Chapter Five: Crisis, Austerity, Solidarity The Question of Hegemony in the 1970s Chapter Six: Welcome to Prosperity Economic Growth and the Erosion of Left-Wing Culture Chapter Seven: The Last Tango The Collapse of Communism and the Dissolution of the PCI Conclusion Bibliography

Promotional Information

A study of the cultural policies of the Italian communist party following the collapse of fascismand the struggle with popular consumer culture that led to its demise in 1991.

About the Author

Stephen Gundle is Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Italian at Royal Holloway, the University of London.


"Between Hollywood and Moscow is an outstanding work that treats the effects of modernization and the development of a mass consumer society in Italy in an original and illuminating manner. It restores a sense of the importance of culture as an integral part of political strategizing, and communicates the shifting meanings of culture over four decades of Italian history." - Ruth Ben-Ghiat, New York University "Between Hollywood and Moscow makes an original contribution to the study of the PCI and post-war Italy in general from a cultural point of view, and reveals the importance of specific cultural strategies and transformations in the political history of the PCI." - John Dickie, University College, London "Between Hollywood and Moscow ... offers scintiallating insight into both the history of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and relations between ideology and mass culture in the twentieth century."--TLS, February 8, 2002 "Between Hollywood and Moscow ... offers scintillating insight into both the history of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and relations between ideology and mass culture in the twentieth century. The book surveys the PCI's interventions in the cultural sphere, high and l ow, in a carefully judged and vividly written sequence, based on a mass of research in archives, journals, newspapers and magazines." --TLS, 8 February 2002

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