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Between Hollywood and Moscow: The Italian Communists and the Challenge of Mass Culture, 1943-1991 (American Encounters/Global Interactions)by Stephen Gundle
Synopses & Reviews
In the postwar years, Italy underwent a far-reaching process of industrialization 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 modernization, particularly by mass communication, commercial cultural industries, and consumerism. Between Hollywood and Moscow is an analysis of the PCIandrsquo;s attempts to cope with these problems in an effort to maintain its organization and subculture.
and#9;Gundle focuses on the theme of cultural policy, examining how the PCIandrsquo;s political strategies incorporated cultural policies and activities that were intended to respond to the Americanization 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 modernization. This equilibrium eventually faltered because the attractive aspects of Americanization and pop culture proved more influential than the PCIandrsquo;s intellectual and political traditions.
and#9;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.
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's book is a highly original contribution to our knowledge of the culture and politics of modern Italy, combining as it does theoretical sophistication with extensive empirical research.”—Paul Ginsborg, Universita degli Studi di Firenze
“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
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