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Politics and Symbols : The Italian Communist Party and the Fall of Communism

Publisher: New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, [2008] ©2008
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : Government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In the wake of the fall of the Berlin wall, and with the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe collapsing, Italian Communist Party (PCI) head Achille Occhetto shocked his party in 1989 by insisting that the PCI jettison its old name and become something new. This dramatic book tells of the ensuing struggle within the PCI, which at the time was Italy's second-largest party and the most powerful Communist party in the  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
ISBN: 9780300147360 0300147368
OCLC Number: 1024051325
Language Note: In English.
Description: 1 online resource
Contents: Frontmatter --
contents --
preface --
chapter one Naming Names --
chapter two Making Communist History --
chapter three Saviors and Conspirators --
chapter four What's in a Name? --
chapter five Battling over the Past to Change the Future --
chapter six Alternative Histories --
chapter seven The Ritual Struggle --
chapter eight On the Power of Symbols and the Weight of History --
notes --
bibliography --
Index
Responsibility: David I. Kertzer.
More information:

Abstract:

In the wake of the fall of the Berlin wall, and with the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe collapsing, Italian Communist Party (PCI) head Achille Occhetto shocked his party in 1989 by insisting that the PCI jettison its old name and become something new. This dramatic book tells of the ensuing struggle within the PCI, which at the time was Italy's second-largest party and the most powerful Communist party in the West. David I. Kertzer's vivid depiction of the conflict brings to life the tactics that party factions employed and the anguish of party members for whom Communism was the core of their identity. Kertzer also tells a larger story from an anthropologist's perspective: the story of the importance of symbols, myths, and rituals in modern politics.Those who seek dramatic political change, Kertzer contends, must remake history. He recounts how those who succeeded in transforming the PCI into the new Democratic Party of the Left effectively used ritual and manipulated political symbols. Bringing the views of Antonio Gramsci, Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, and other political thinkers into his discussion, Kertzer explores theoretical issues involving the relation between symbolism and political power, concluding that modern politics is fundamentally a struggle over symbols and the redefinition of history.

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