A Civil War is a history of the wartime Italian Resistance, recounted by a historian who took part in the struggle against Mussolini’s Fascist Republic. Since its publication in Italy, Claudio Pavone’s masterwork has become indispensable to anyone seeking to understand this period and its continuing importance for the nation’s identity.
Pavone casts a sober eye on his protagonists’ ethical and ideological motivations. He uncovers a multilayered conflict, in which class antagonisms, patriotism and political ideals all played a part. A clear understanding of this complexity allows him to explain many details of the post-war transition, as well as the legacy of the Resistance for modern Italy. In addition to being a monumental work of scholarship, A Civil War is a folk history, capturing events, personalities and attitudes that were on the verge of slipping entirely out of recollection to the detriment of Italy’s understanding of itself and its past.
‘The most beautiful book written to date on the Italian Resistance.’ L’Unità
‘There have not been many books on history and politics in the past few years that have sparked such a vast and heated debate as the one arising with the publication of A Civil War.’ Norberto Bobbio, author of The Future of Democracy
‘Pavone’s study of the struggle between the Resistance and the Fascist Republican regime, A Civil War, has provided the broad interpretive framework for much recent scholarship.’ American Historical Review
‘The most important essay on the Resistance.’ La Stampa
‘An essential book on the struggles of the Resistance.’ Corriere della Sera
‘An essential book – the best book on the Resistance to date – one that revitalizes the way we look at this phenomenon, engaging dispassionately with its defining controversial aspects: the civil war, violence, ideology and the relationship between the Resistance and the Allies.’ Alberto De Bernardi, La Repubblica
A Civil War by Claudio Pavone, Foreword by Stanislao Puligese, Translated by Peter Levy