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Fascist and Anti-Fascist Propaganda in America: The Dispatches of Italian Ambassador ...

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Fascist and Anti-Fascist Propaganda in America:


The gestation process of this work goes back to years past. It went through three stages.

A bit of historical background will set the first stage—the stage linked to the political history and career of my father. Under Mussolini, paramilitary organizations and a Fascist nomenclature emerged in Italy. These included arditi

(crack troops), squadristi (Fascists engaged in punitive action against the enemies of Fascism), mazzieri (Fascists armed with stilettos and guns), manganelli (truncheons or nightsticks), fasci di combattimento (fighting groups), Fasci del Littorio (Lictor’s Fascis), Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale (Voluntary Militia for National Security), ras (local boss), gerarca (hierarch), sovversivi (subversives), fuorusciti (political exiles), and the Brigate Nere (Black Brigade).1

This takes us to the brutal attack on my father, Vincenzo Nazzaro. While he was still a bachelor, a gang of nationalists, arditi and mazzieri, armed with guns and stilettos, beat him viciously. It was Holy Trinity Sunday, 1920. Vincenzo Nazzaro, one of the local founders and activists of the Partito Popolare Italiano (PPI), founded by Sicilian priest Luigi Sturzo in 1919, was actively engaged in presenting to the local public the ideas and the program of Sturzo’s manifesto Al Liberi e Forti.