Ethnic Allegiance and Class Consciousness Among Italian-American Workers, 1900-1941


In a recent attempt to outline a periodization for the history of Italian-American radicalism in the United States, Gerald Meyer and the late Philip V. Cannistraro have suggested that the pre-War War I era and the phase of the anti-Fascist struggle in the interwar decades were the golden ages of the Left in the “Little Italies.”1 On the one hand, the early 1910s were times of intense labor militancy that reached a climax with the successful 1912 Bread and Roses strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts.2 On the other hand, the efforts to curb Benito Mussolini’s search for hegemony among Italian immigrants in the United States revitalized radicalism after considerable decline in the wake of government repression in the war and postwar years culminating in the 1927 execution of anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti.3

During both periods, in order to carry on their fights Italian Americans heavily relied upon the circulation of information, ideas and people between their native and adoptive countries. For instance, in 1901, the Italian immigrants who had joined the Socialist Labor Party chose the editor of their newspaper, Il Proletario, after consulting with the Italian Socialist Party.4 The designated journalist was an exile, Giacinto Menotti Serrati, who came on purpose to the United States from Switzerland.5 Similarly, during the 1912 walkout in Lawrence, the strikers’ children were sent out of town to stay with sympathizers following a well-established tactic of labor disputes in Italy.6 Likewise, a wave of fuorusciti such as Vanni B. Montana and Carmelo Zito strengthened the ranks of the Duce’s opponents who were active in the United States.7 Indeed, the Italian roots of Italian-American radicalism had a long tradition dating back at least to the arrival of the veterans of the Socialist-oriented Sicilian fasci movement who fled the authoritarian rule that prime minister Francesco Crispi established in 1893.8

However, to many U.S. workers of Italian extraction, the existence of transnational ties between their native and adoptive countries did not necessarily mean the development of internationalist sentiments. It sometimes contributed to preventing Italian Americans’ full-fledged integration within the multinational labor movement in America. While connections to Italy strengthened ethnicity, they also weakened a proletarian worldview. In fact, class consciousness and ethnic allegiance were from time to time at odds.

In his autobiography, prominent Italian-American anarchist Carlo Tresca acknowledged that at the beginning of his stay in the United States, his concept of class struggle had hardly crossed the boundaries of his own ethnic community. As he pointed out, “For years I remained indifferent to the efforts made by the American comrades to bring nearer to its realization the millennium for which I myself was fighting. I was still living in Italy, both with my heart and mind.” Tresca referred to the fact that, even though he had moved to the United States and resided there, “my thought, my talks, my habits of life and my enemies were all Italians.”9

Tresca dated such a worldview to the turn of the twentieth century and implied that he had subsequently overcome his early Italy-centered approach. His initial attitude, however, was widespread among Italian-American workers and survived much longer within their communities. In a 1936 radio address, Luigi Antonini – an outstanding labor leader who was the first vice president of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and the secretary general of its Local 89 – complained that Tresca’s malaise still affected a relevant number of his fellow ethnics. It is remarkable that, on such an occasion, Antonini resorted to Tresca’s same metaphor. As he put it, “all we Italians are with our body in America and with our mind in Italy. This is a bad thing.”10

Indeed, by the time Antonini made his speech, the retention of a strong Italian consciousness had caused significant drawbacks for the development of the Italian-American labor movement. In particular, it had interfered with the spread of working-class solidarity across lines of national origins and had let fascism exploit nationalistic feelings to make inroads into the “Little Italies” throughout the country. These two aspects were closely connected.

Tresca argued that it was his having “absolutely no knowledge of the English language” which had initially made him “unable to line up with the American Comrades in the fight” for social justice and against capitalism.11 In order to help Italian Americans overcome the language barrier that Tresca himself experienced and to facilitate their militancy in labor organizations, several unions created Italian-language locals such as Locals 48 (Italian Cloakmakers) and 89 (Italian Dress and Waist Makers) for the ILGWU or Locals 63 (Italian Coatmakers) and 122 for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.12 Most of these locals were established at the beginning of the twentieth century, when the great bulk of Italian-American workers were still of Italian birth. Yet, even in the mid 1930s, after an American-born and U.S.-raised second generation had joined the ranks of the workforce, Antonini claimed that Italian should remain the one official language of Local 89.13 Indeed, both Local 122 and Local 89 survived World War II as autonomous labor branches and still operated in the late 1940s and early 1950s.14

Against this backdrop, one could reasonably argue that the resort to the Italian language was not only a necessity but a choice, too, for unionized Italian-American workers. Actually, the foundation of locals of their own also resulted from the marginalization of Italian Americans within the labor movement in the United States, as happened to many other minorities that were not of Anglo-Saxon heritage. The American Federation of Labor (AFL), for instance, long considered Italians as well as other newcomers from southern and eastern Europe as being a potential menace to U.S. workers’ gains in salary levels and labor rights and advocated the restriction of immigration from those areas.15 A policy of high membership dues and exclusion of unskilled laborers also prevented many Italian-American workers from joining the ranks of the AFL.16 Reports from anarchist circles even suggested that unions such as the United Mine Workers encouraged the exploitation of Italian-American laborers in company towns in the early twentieth century.17

Discriminated against by union members from other ethnic backgrounds either for their radicalism or on the grounds that they tended to be strikebreakers and to work for substandard wages, Italian Americans sought to devise their own dimension for labor militancy in order both to assert their rights as an immigrant group and to face competition on the part of other minorities for power within their unions. In particular, they resented the initial control of Yiddish-speaking officials in multiethnic locals and Jews’ efforts to prevent Italian Americans from rising to high-ranking positions in the labor hierarchy as happened, for instance, in the case of the Journeymen Tailors’ Union in early twentieth-century Chicago.18 These feelings were hard to die as Jews held on to their hegemony. In 1930, for instance, Boston’s non-segregated unions listed thirty-six Jewish officials as opposed to nineteen Italian Americans.19 As late as 1937, the executive board of Local 48 rejoiced over the fact that Italian-American Basilio Desti had defeated the Jewish candidates in the elections for vice president at the 23rd Convention of the ILGWU in Atlantic City.20

By strengthening ethnic awareness and claims, these rivalries were detrimental to the development of Italian Americans’ class consciousness and obviously interfered with labor militancy in the “Little Italies.” They also extended to other labor-related fields. Some scholars have pointed to the Democratic Party in the 1930s as a cross-ethnic political organization that – along with the United Mine Workers first and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) later – helped workers of foreign ancestries join forces in order to protect and promote their class interests in the legislative arena.21 This interpretation, however, can be hardly applied to Italian Americans. They were indeed appreciative of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s social and labor legislation. However, their entry into the Democratic voter coalition pre-dated the New Deal. It occurred in 1928, in response to the ethnic appeal of Democrat Alfred E. Smith, the first candidate not of Wasp extraction to be nominated for president by either major party. Moreover ethnic determinants continued to influence Italian-American workers’ vote in the following years.22

Notwithstanding Republican threats to the legislative achievements of the New Deal in the late 1930s, many Italian Americans went over to the GOP in the 1938 mid-term elections after local Democratic organizations, unlike their Republican counterparts, had restrained the allotment of political recognition and patronage for members of the “Little Italies” in several cities. For instance, when the GOP slated Edward Corsi for the U.S. Senate in 1938, New York City’s Italian-American vote for the Democratic Party fell by more than 10 percent over 1936 despite Antonini’s harsh criticism of the tendency of his fellow ethnics to neglect the candidates’ labor record to cast ballots according to the ethnic origin of the contenders.23 That the Democratic candidate for governor, Herbert H. Lehman, was of Jewish origin did not help Roosevelt’s party in the local “Little Italy” because the passing of the Fascist 1938 racial legislation had contributed to the spread of anti-Semitic feelings in the Italian-American neighborhoods.24 Indeed, the support for Lehman among his Italian-American constituents dropped from 60.9 percent in 1936 to 50.0 percent two years later.25 Likewise, in Philadelphia, the Italian-American vote for Jewish Congressman Leon Sacks shrank from 67.9 percent in 1936 to 50.6 percent in 1938 in the wake of a wave of vicious attacks that pointed to the incumbent U.S. representative as a political leader of an “inferior race” by Fascist standards.26 In particular, though a champion of the New Deal labor legislation, Sacks faced problems with the Italian-American membership of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers. This union had a long tradition of bringing together Jews and Italian Americans, had denounced anti-Semitism, and had endorsed Sacks.27 Its adherents, therefore, were supposed to cast their ballots for Sacks. Yet a few Italian-American activists not only refused to vote for Sacks but even campaigned against him on the grounds that he was a Jew.28 In 1940 President Roosevelt’s stigmatization of the Fascist eleventh-hour declaration of war on France in World War II as a stab in the back caused a further decline in the Democratic following among Italian Americans.29

Indeed, the response to fascism on the part of laborers of Italian origin offers an illuminating example of the inconsistencies of the Italian-American labor movement in the interwar years. Particularly striking is the fact that – following in the footsteps of Mussolini himself and other Italian Fascist leaders such as Nicola Bombacci, who came from Left-oriented political backgrounds30 – the Duce’s supporters of Italian descent in the United States included many former labor activists. Domenico Trombetta – one of the earliest Fascist organizers in New York City as well as the editor and publisher of Il Grido della Stirpe, the most vocal among Mussolini’s Italian-language mouthpieces in the United States – was a former tailor by trade with a long militancy in the anarchist movement before the outbreak of World War I.31 Other Anarcho-syndicalists were Giuseppe Mizii, an industrial worker, and Umberto Menicucci, a tailor, who were members of the directorate of the first Fascist club in the United States, which had been set up in New York City on 2 May 1921.32 Another former anarchist and textile worker, Filippo Bocchini, established the Fascist Party of Pennsylvania in 1934 and, in the same year, led the drive to revitalize the Khaki Shirts, an organization grouping Nazi and Fascist sympathizers, under the name of Star Shirts after the arrest of the founder of this movement, Art J. Smith.33 Even more emblematic was the case of Edmondo Rossoni, the editor of Il Proletario on the eve of World War I, who subsequently headed the Fascist trade union confederation and became Mussolini’s minister of Agriculture and a member of the Duce’s Grand Council after returning to Italy.34

Besides their shift from radicalism to fascism, all these individuals shared strong Italy-centered nationalistic sentiments that they developed at the time of World War I, when they embraced the cause of their ancestral land enthusiastically. Such feelings resulted primarily from Italian Americans’ experience of the lack of trans-ethnic working-class solidarity within the U.S. labor movement. They also arose from a process of discrimination and marginalization that was greater in the United States than in other countries with Italian immigrant populations. A relatively easier accommodation within the host societies – even though they were not impervious to anti-Italian bigotry35 – helped restrain the popularity of fascism among Italian expatriates in Argentina, Brazil, and France.36 This was hardly the case in the United States. For instance, Bocchini – who had been arrested for his involvement in a 1912 textile strike in Little Falls, New York – deeply resented that Polish and Slovak laborers went back to work while he and other Italian-American agitators were in prison and that the protesters who joined a rally to call for their release from jail were almost exclusively of Italian descent.37

Likewise, in the same year, Rossoni was so aware of the discrimination and prejudice facing workers from Italian background in the U.S. unions that he even called for a Chamber of Labor that would take care exclusively of Italian Americans, regardless of their political allegiance. This project was Rossoni’s solution to the marginalization of the members of his immigrant group within the labor movement because, as he put it in Il Proletario, when an Italian-American worker joined an American union “he was more tolerated than anything else and in every class considered as the last spoke in the wheel.” This sort of “class nationalism” also caused Rossoni to oppose the affiliation of the Italian Socialist Federation in North America with the Industrial Workers of the World. That attitude, therefore, also interfered with the attempts at promoting the integration of the Italian-American component within the broader American labor movement.38

Trombetta’s Il Grido della Stirpe, too, took issue with the ethnic intolerance of the U.S. labor movement. In its first issue, while extolling the Fascist corporations as opposed to American unions, this weekly argued that “all Italian locals in America are… controlled by other people’s labor organizations that… reveal anti-Italian attitudes.”39 It subsequently reprimanded the AFL for supporting the restrictive 1924 Quota Act – which limited Italian immigration to the United States to as few as 5,802 individuals per year on the grounds that the Italians were generally unassimilable within American society – and charged Jewish union leaders with discriminating against rank-and-file workers from Italian background.40

Nationalism was thus a sort of half-way-house on their road to fascism for radicals who had become disenchanted with working-class empathy across ethnic lines. This was true for Bocchini, Rossoni, and Trombetta by the beginning of World War I, and for a number of their fellow-ethnic laborers in the interwar years. Fascist attempts at infiltrating Italian-American locals in order to take them over were few and generally unsuccessful.41 However, Mussolini’s agents and diplomats overseas as well as the subsequent and more reliable scholarship have stressed that workers made up the great bulk of the membership of the Fascist organizations in the United States, though they hardly ever rose to leadership positions. Conversely, middle-class Italian Americans generally declined to establish formal ties to clubs or groups that could be somehow associated with the government of a foreign country.42 Most prominenti (members of the social elite in the “Little Italies”) thus confined themselves to gestures of token support toward the regime of their ancestral land. Italian-American laborers, by contrast, showed authentic and unrestrained enthusiasm for Mussolini’s alleged accomplishments. The leaders of the “Little Italies” feared that outspoken adherence to fascism would endanger their still insecure accommodation within the broader U.S. society. Ordinary Italian Americans, on the other hand, while remaining ideologically distant from Fascist doctrine, basked in the glory of the supposed achievements of their native country under the Duce. Such attainments offered a sort of ethnic compensation for Italian Americans’ alienation from the mainstream and sense of powerlessness in the adoptive society as well as for the anti-Italian intolerance that characterized even fellow workers from other national backgrounds. According to Gaetano Salvemini’s well-known remarks,

[Italian immigrants] arrived in America illiterate, barefoot, and carrying a knapsack.... They were treated with contempt by everybody because they were Italians. And now even the Americans told them that Mussolini had turned Italy into a mighty country, that there was no unemployment, that there was a bathroom in every apartment, that trains arrived on time, and that Italy inspired awe worldwide.43

Such nostalgic nationalism fostered the ethnocentrism of many Italian-American workers especially at the time of the Italo-Ethiopian War (October 1935-May 1936). Unions and Italian-American labor leaders unanimously condemned the Fascist invasion of Ethiopia. In particular, they opposed the surreptitious tactic by which Mussolini’s agents tried to raise money among Italian Americans for Rome’s colonial venture under a humanitarian cover by requesting contributions to the Italian Red Cross.44 The clear-cut message from labor periodicals like Giustizia, the Italian-language mouthpiece of the ILGWU, or anarchist newspapers such as L’Adunata dei Refrattari was that the money intended for the Italian Red Cross would end up in the Duce’s war chest and, therefore, Italian-American laborers had to refuse to make donations let alone soliciting them from their fellow workers.45 Yet the New York Times reported in June 1936 that, shouting “Viva Mussolini” and “Viva Fascismo,” “more than 20,000 Italians and Italian Americans filled Madison Square Garden to its capacity,” under the auspices of the Italian Red Cross, to celebrate the eventual annexation of Ethiopia to the kingdom of Italy.46 As Nunzio Pernicone has colorfully pointed out, “the sordid spectacle of Italian Americans gathering in tens of thousands to relish Mussolini’s military exploits left no doubt as to who had won the heart and minds of the colonia italiana.”47 Laborers of Italian ancestry even bought the Duce’s rationale at face value and contended that the Fascist regime pursued a colonizing mission in eastern Africa. In 1939, a factory worker from Bridgeport, Connecticut, by the name of Vincenzo Frazzetta, still argued in his broken English that “what Mussolini done in Ethiopia, I think he done a good thing because that country belonged to him, and he want to make the people there civilized like they should be. He is making schools for these people and he is making them like Christians.”48

The amount of money collected for the Italian Red Cross is sufficient per se to demonstrate that the appeals of labor leaders generally fell on deaf ears in Italian-American communities. Such financial contributions totaled $700,000 in New York City, nearly $65,000 in Philadelphia, about $40,000 in San Francisco, and over $37,000 in Providence, while roughly 100,000 gold rings were sent to Rome from New England, New York State, and New Jersey in a further effort to help the Italian regime cope with the economic sanctions of the League of Nations.49 That the subsequent anti-Fascist campaign on behalf of the legitimate republican government during the Spanish Civil War managed to raise only a few thousand dollars offers additional evidence of Italian Americans’ widespread support for Mussolini’s bid for a colonial empire.50

As for the conflict in Spain, many Italian Americans may have been loath to contribute to a civil war that witnessed Italian fighters on opposite sides as anti-Fascist volunteers joined the ranks of the Republican army and Mussolini sent troops to back General Francisco Franco’s insurgents.51 If so, this reluctance was a further component of that persistence of Italian Americans’ sentimental ties to their motherland which was particularly manifest during the Italo-Ethiopian War. A letter that one John Milazzo, a member of Local 89 of the ILGWU, sent to the Italian-language daily Il Progresso Italo-Americano revealed the nostalgic patriotism of many Italian-American laborers regardless of their political attachment. Notwithstanding the official stand of his own union against the Fascist invasion of Ethiopia, Milazzo proudly argued that

I collected money for the Italian Red Cross twice in the factory where I work and shall initiate additional fund-raisings until our beloved Duce orders our brothers who are bravely fighting in Africa to lay their arms.... I am not and shall be never a Fascist, but I am Italian, an unrepentant Italian.52

One might contend that, as a Fascist organ, Il Progresso Italo-Americano is not a reliable source to survey Italian Americans’ feelings. By the time Milazzo’s letter was printed, however, the editor of the newspaper, the Duce’s sympathizer Generoso Pope, and the anti-Fascist leader of Local 89, Luigi Antonini, had already reached a gentlemen’s agreement to stop all attacks because their clashes had become mutually damaging.53 Against the backdrop of this political truce, it is unlikely that Milazzo’s letter was a forgery on Pope’s part to undermine Antonini.

Furthermore similar letters were published in anti-Fascist newspapers, too. A reader named Santo Farina, for instance, resented that the socialist daily La Stampa Libera had stigmatized Italian Americans’ celebration of the conquest of Ethiopia as a clownery. As Farina put it,

by hailing the victory of our soldiers we intended to do our duty as real Italians. What the anonymous calls a clownery was nothing more than a legitimate outburst of the enthusiasm of our hearts because we do not believe that endangering the fate of our motherland to fight fascism is reasonable. Wishing Italy’s defeat to displease Mussolini is ridiculous. We should not forget that governs pass away, but Italy will remain forever.54

Italian-American workers still had their minds in Italy and, therefore, those patriotic arguments managed to make inroads into the “Little Italies” and to persuade many of their members to support the Fascist military campaign in eastern Africa. The anarchist weekly L’Adunata dei Refrattari complained that being at the same time an anti-Fascist and a patriot had nearly become impossible in the wake of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.55 The reason, as Antonini aptly suggested, was that most Italian-American laborers were unable to make a distinction between Italy and her government and, consequently, by cherishing their motherland they also ended up embracing the policy of the Fascist regime.56 Such awareness led radical propaganda to try to demystify Italian Americans’ sense of patriotism or to criticize the patriotic aims of the Italo-Ethiopian war in the fruitless effort to prevent Italian Americans from embracing Mussolini’s colonial venture. On the one hand, for instance, L’Adunata dei Refrattari argued that the patria “is the “padrone for whom you have to work, is the policeman to whom you have to obey, is the tax collector whom you have to pay, is the jail where you have to suffer and still keep silent, is the priest whom you have to trust, is the joy you have to give up, is the stepmother of whom you are the bastards and for whom you have to die.”57 Likewise, Tito Nunzio – the pseudonym of Communist leader Michael Salerno – contended in a 1935 pamphlet that, by siding with the colored people of Ethiopia, Italian-American workers would make a contribution to the debacle of Mussolini’s dictatorship and, consequently, to the liberation of their brothers and sisters in Italy. As he maintained, the Duce’s colonial venture was at odds with Italian laborers’ interests and, therefore, their fellow ethnics in the United States should oppose it.58 On the other hand, La Stampa Libera asked Farina whether the Fascist seizure of Ethiopia would “give the Italian people bread and freedom.”59 This newspaper also tried to persuade Italian Americans that the war on Ethiopia had weakened the prestige of their mother country abroad.60 Antonini made the same argument, urging Italian-American workers to cry out “three cheers for Italy, but down with the war” in order to separate nationalism from loyalty to the Fascist regime.61

Such arguments, however, were of little avail. Reports in Giustizia and La Stampa Libera admitted the existence of Italian-American laborers who sang the praises of Mussolini because “he is a man who commands the world,” although these newspapers tended to dismiss such people as drunkards and cafoni as in the case of the roughly 200 workers of the Darof & Sons Company in Philadelphia who celebrated the defeat of Ethiopia in the war against their native country.62 The Italian-American workers of the Philco Company in Camden, New Jersey, similarly held a banquet to rejoice over the Italian victory.63 Indeed, speaking off the record, anti-Fascists themselves acknowledged that the establishment of the Fascist empire had enhanced Italy’s standing on the international scene because it had raised her to a world power and, consequently, had strengthened Italian Americans’ social status in the eyes of their adoptive society.64 As anti-Fascist Jew Max Ascoli observed, “large sections of Italian Americans felt the spell of Mussolini’s myth” because the Duce “appealed to them as the ‘Wop’ who was making the front page.”65

When other Fascist leaders managed to achieve similar results, they elicited an analogous response among Italian-American workers. L’Adunata dei Refrattari, for instance, apparently failed to understand the reasons for Italian Americans’ widespread enthusiasm for the flight of Minister of Aviation Italo Balbo’s squadron of twenty-four planes from Orbetello to Chicago on the occasion of the 1933 World Fair. Balbo – the anarchist weekly remarked – was the murderer of priest Don Minzoni and one of those who had helped sweep away the rights of labor unions in Italy. However, the detailed enumeration of Balbo’s crimes against the Italian people in one issue of the newspaper after the other over roughly two months seemed nothing more than a desperate attempt at marring the reputation of a figure that was most popular with Italian Americans because his exploit had contributed to improving both the image of their native country and, indirectly, the standing of the people of Italian origin in the United States.66

The Italo-Ethiopian war drew support not only from rank-and-file Italian-American workers but also from mid-ranking union officials and labor activists. Fund-raisers for the Italian Red Cross included Giuseppe Salerni, an organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers in Boston, Attilio Pierfederici, a Socialist militant from New London, Connecticut, Joe De Capua, a subscription collector for Tresca’s Il Martello in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, and Salvatore Bartone, the business agent of Local 63 of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers in New York City.67 The latter’s solicitation of funds prompted protest from anti-Fascists.68 Nonetheless, instead of reprimanding Bartone or even expelling him from the union, the Italian-American officials of Local 63 – most notably Giuseppe Catalanotti and Paolo Arnone of the Joint Board – gathered at New York City’s harbor in early July 1936 to wish him a pleasant journey as he embarked for a brief vacation in Italy.69 The Executive Board of Local 48 of the ILGWU did not even refrain from expressing its sympathies in mourning its own members’ relatives who had been killed while fighting with the Italian army in Ethiopia.70

While reporting that an unidentified “cheerleader” for Local 89 of the ILGWU had launched a drive for the Italian Red Cross, L’Adunata dei Refrattari also complained that several union organizers refused to come out against the Fascist attack on Ethiopia because they did not want to risk alienating Italian-American workers.71 Indeed, even such a radical politician as American Labor Party Congressman Vito Marcantonio decided not to attend a meeting protesting the Fascist invasion of Ethiopia for fear of losing the votes of his large Italian-American district in East Harlem.72 For the same reason, New York City’s progressive Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia did not fail to join a mass rally at the Madison Square Garden in mid December 1935 to raise money for the Italian Red Cross, although he eventually chose not to make a speech.73 This latter event also saw the participation of politicians who were not of Italian descent but had nonetheless a significant number of Italian-American constituents such as William I. Sirovich, a Jewish U.S. Representative of the Democratic Party.74 Actually, as even Italian-American laborers’ hangouts like the People’s House in Philadelphia resounded with the notes of the Fascist song Faccetta Nera (black face) upon Italy’s occupation of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, it was not hard to identify which side most workers from Italian background were on.75

The racialized language by which Fascist propaganda was channeled on the occasion of both the Italo-Ethiopian War and the subsequent 1938 racial legislation also helped isolate Italian-American laborers from other ethnic components of the American working-class.76 For example, a report from Tampa – a city that had previously enjoyed a long tradition of transethnic solidarity within the labor movement77 – denounced the employers’ resort to black scabs during a 1936 local walkout in such racist overtones that the editorial staff of L’Adunata dei Refrattari felt obliged to point out in a footnote that there was nothing wrong in hiring African-American workers providing that they were not strikebreakers.78 A taste for racial segregation affected even Antonini. When he was asked whether he would let a colored laborer join his union, Antonini answered that any African American was welcome to become a member providing that “he speaks Italian,” a requirement that black workers were hardly able to meet.79 Likewise, that Antonini hurried to emphatically distance the ILGWU from “racial hate” in the aftermath of the passing of the Fascist 1938 anti-Semitic measures may indicate that its Italian-American members were likely to be prone to anti-Jewish sentiments.80 Also, while stigmatizing the Mussolini’s regime’s discrimination against Jews, Local 48 of the same union warned that anti-Semitism “threatens to poison the minds of a great number of Italian immigrants.”81

Such ill feelings were hardly surprising after the Depression of the 1930s had exacerbated Italian-Jewish rivalries as members of these two ethnic minorities competed with one another for a shrinking number of jobs in the same sectors as well as for access to relief programs and cheap housing in adjoining or overlapping neighborhoods.82 Moreover resentment for the persisting Jewish control of some multiethnic locals of the ILGWU induced a few of their Italian-American affiliates to join anti-Semitic organizations.83 An example of the persistence of anti-Semitic prejudice among Italian-American union members was offered as late as 1941. A commemorative publication of Local 48 of the ILGWU contended that, in contrast to Italian-American laborers, Jewish workers got a better deal from their employers because most of the latter were Jews, too, and shared an attitude of stinginess with their employees.84

Of course, the multifaceted nature of the Italian-American labor movement hardly makes generalizations possible. Indeed, some sectors of the Italian-American working class did express strong anti-Fascist opinions and positions, and did stick to them even while Mussolini was quite popular with both the U.S. government and the broader American society.85 For instance, after fleeing the Fascist cudgels in his native Liguria, Communist cardholder Pietro Riccobaldi, a former miner and a waiter in Depression-time New York City, strengthened his class consciousness, refused to embrace nationalism or racism, and supported the legitimate republican government during the Spanish Civil War.86 Likewise, other party members such as Albina Delfino and Frances Ribaldo endeavored to rally Italian-American women against the Fascist invasion of Ethiopia and in support of Republican Spain.87 However, though not uncommon among ordinary laborers, who included many anti-Fascist expatriates, such uncompromising stands were less frequent among rank-and-file workers than among union leaders and newspapers.88 Conversely, the survival of ties to the fatherland, as epitomized by Tresca’s metaphor, caused a number of pitfalls that let patriotic sentiments, pro-Fascist feelings, and ethnocentric attitudes interfere with workers’ internationalism as well as with laborers’ class solidarity and consciousness.


1. Philip V. Cannistraro and Gerald Meyer, “Italian American Radicalism: An Interpretative History,” in The Lost World of Italian American Radicalism: Politics, Labor, and Culture, ed. Philip V. Cannistraro and Gerald Meyer (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003), 5-6.

2. Philip S. Foner, The Industrial Workers of the World (New York: International Publishers, 1965), 306-50; Peppino Ortoleva, “Una voce dal coro: Angelo Rocco e lo sciopero di Lawrence del 1912,” Movimento operaio e socialista 4 (January-June 1981): 5-32; Michael Miller Topp, Those without a Country: The Political Culture of Italian American Syndicalists (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), 92-134.

3. Fraser M. Ottanelli, “‘If Fascism Comes to America We Will Push It Back into the Ocean’: Italian American Antifascism in the 1920s and 1930s,” in Italian Workers of the World: Labor Migration and the Formation of Multiethnic States, ed. Donna R. Gabaccia and Fraser M. Ottanelli (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001), 178-95. For the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti as a turning point, see Rudolph J. Vecoli, “The Search for an Italian American Identity: Continuity and Change,” in Italian Americans: New Perspectives in Italian Immigration and Ethnicity, ed. Lydio F. Tomasi (Staten Island, NY: Center for Migration Studies, 1985), 94.

4. Susanna Garroni, “Serrati negli Stati Uniti: Giornalista socialista e organizzatore degli emigrati italiani,” Movimento Operaio e Socialista 7 (December 1984): 324.

5. Paolo Valera, Giacinto Menotti Serrati direttore dell’Avanti! (Milan: La Folla, 1920), 35. For Serrati’s years as an exile, see also in general Anna Rosada, Giacinto Menotti Serrati nell’emigrazione, 1899-1911 (Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1972).

6. Elisabetta Vezzosi, Il socialismo indifferente: Immigrati italiani e Socialist Party negli Stati Uniti del primo Novecento (Rome: Edizioni Lavoro, 1991), 116.

7. Vanni B. Montana, Amarostico: Testimonianze euro-americane (Leighorn: Bastogi, 1975); Gabriella Facondo, Socialismo italiano esule negli USA, 1930-1942 (Foggia: Bastogi, 1993); Bénédicte Deschamps, “Opposing Fascism in the West: The Experience of Il Corriere del Popolo in San Francisco in the late 1930s,” in Italian Immigrants Go West: The Impact of Locale on Ethnicity, ed. Janet E. Worrall, Carol Bonomo Albright, and Elvira G. Di Fabio (Cambridge, MA: American Italian Historical Association, 2003), 109-23.

8. Donna R. Gabaccia, Militants and Migrants: Rural Sicilians Become American Workers (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1988), 55-75; Bruno Cartosio, “Sicilian Radicals in Two Worlds,” in In the Shadow of the Statue of Liberty: Immigrants, Workers, and Citizens in the American Republic, 1880-1920, ed. Marianne Debouzy (Saint-Denis: Presses Universitaires de Vincennes, 1988), 117-28. For the perception of the Sicilian fasci movement from the United States, see Lucia Ducci, “An American View of the Italian Crisis at the End of the Century (1890-1900),” VIA: Voices in Italian Americana 17 (Fall 2006): 44-51. For Crispi, see Christopher Duggan, Francesco Crispi, 1818-1901: From Nation to Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).

9. Carlo Tresca, The Autobiography of Carlo Tresca, ed. Nunzio Pernicone (New York: John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, 2003), 75. For Tresca, see Dorothy Gallagher, All the Right Enemies: The Life and Murder of Carlo Tresca (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1988); Nunzio Pernicone, Carlo Tresca: Portrait of a Rebel (London: Palgrave, 2005).

10. Luigi Antonini, “Il nostro avvenire è in America,” Giustizia 19 (February 1936): 9. For Antonini, see Guido Tintori, “Amministrazione Roosevelt e Labor etnico: Un caso italiano, Luigi Antonini” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Milan, 2003).

11. Tresca, The Autobiography, 75-76.

12. Vincent J. Tirelli, “The Italian-American Labor Council: Origins, Conflicts, and Contributions,” in Italian-American Labor Council, 50 Years of Progress: Golden Anniversary (New York: Italian-American Labor Council, 1991), 1-3; Charles A. Zappia, “Labor,” in The Italian American Experience: An Encyclopedia, ed. Salvatore J. LaGumina, Frank J. Cavaioli, Salvatore Primeggia, and Joseph A. Varacalli (New York: Garland, 2000), 327.

13. “Il problema della diffusione della lingua italiana,” La Stampa Libera, 3 May 1936, 2.

14. Rosara Lucy Passero, “Ethnicity in the Men’s Ready-Made Clothing Industry, 1880-1950: The Italian Experience in Philadelphia” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1978), 302-3; Richard N. Juliani, “Italians and Other Americans: The Parish, the Union, and the Settlement House,” in Perspectives in Italian Immigration and Ethnicity, ed. Silvano M. Tomasi (New York: Center for Migration Studies, 1977), 182; Ronald L. Filippelli, “Luigi Antonini, the Italian-American Labor Council, and Cold-War Politics in Italy, 1943-1949,” Labor History 33 (Winter 1992): 116-18.

15. Robert Asher, “Union Nativism and Immigrant Response,” Labor History 23 (Summer 1982): 325-48; Bruno Cartosio, “Gli emigranti italiani e l’Industrial Workers of the World,” in Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini, Gli italiani fuori d’Italia: Gli emigranti italiani nei movimenti operai dei paesi d’adozione (1880-1940), ed. Bruno Bezza (Milan: Angeli, 1983), 368-74; Catherine Collomp, Entre classe et nation: Mouvement ouvrier et immigration aux E´tats-Unis, 1880-1920 (Paris: Belin, 1998).

16. Anna Maria Martellone, Una Little Italy nell’Atene d’America: La comunità italiana di Boston dal 1880 al 1920 (Naples: Guida, 1973), 136-38; Anna Maria Martellone, “Introduzione,” in La “questione” dell’immigrazione negli Stati Uniti, ed. Anna Maria Martellone (Bologna: il Mulino, 1980), 53.

17. Gianna S. Panofsky, “A View of Two Major Centers of Italian Anarchism in the United States: Spring Valley and Chicago, Illinois,” in Italian Ethnics: Their Languages, Literature, and Lives, ed. Dominic Candeloro, Fred L. Gardaphe, and Paolo A. Giordano (Staten Island, NY: American Italian Historical Association, 1990), 279.

18. Luciano J. Iorizzo and Salvatore Mondello, The Italian Americans (New York: Twayne, 1971), 79; Edwin Fenton, Immigrants and Unions, a Case Study: Italians and American Labor, 1870-1920 (New York: Arno, 1975), 503-7, 539-43; Charles A. Zappia, “Unionism and the Italian-American Workers: The Politics of Anti-Communism in the ILGWU in New York City, 1900-1925,” in The Italian Americans through the Generations, ed. Rocco Caporale (Staten Island, NY: American Italian Historical Association, 1986), 78-79.

19. Charles H. Trout, Boston, the Great Depression, and the New Deal (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), 325-26.

20. Minutes of the Executive Board, Italian Cloak, Suit and Skirt Makers’ Union, Local 48, ILGWU, 20 May 1937, microfilm edition, reel 2, University of Florence, Biblioteca di Storia e Letteratura Nordamericana, Florence, Italy.

21. Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 251-360; Gary Gerstle, American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 131-55.

22. Stefano Luconi, “La partecipazione politica in America del Nord,” in Storia dell’emigrazione italiana: Arrivi, ed. Piero Bevilacqua, Andreina De Clementi, and Emilio Franzina (Rome: Donzelli, 2002), 493-96.

23. Ronald H. Bayor, Neighbors in Conflict: The Irish, Germans, Jews and Italians of New York City, 1929-1941 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978), 41, 55; Luigi Antonini, “La battaglia elettorale di novembre,” Giustizia 21 (December 1938): 3-4.

24. Mary Testa, “Anti-Semitism among Italian Americans,” Equality 1 (July 1939): 27-29.

25. Bayor, Neighbors in Conflict, 47.

26. Manual of the City Council of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: Dunlap, 1937), 286; ibid. (1939), 288; “Spilli e spilloni,” La Voce Indipendente 1 (November 1938): 3.

27. Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, “Industrial Unionism and Labor Movement Culture in Depression-Era Philadelphia,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 109 (January 1985): 22.

28. Leon Sacks to Charles Weinstein, Philadelphia, 10 October 1938, Papers of the Joint Board of the “Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America,” box 9, folder “Labor’s Non-Partisan League, General Correspondence, 1938,” Temple University Urban Archives, Paley Library, Philadelphia.

29. Robert A. Dahl, Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961), 49, 51; Frederick M. Wirt, Power in the City: Decision Making in San Francisco (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), 235; Bayor, Neighbors in Conflict, 147.

30. Renzo De Felice, Mussolini, il rivoluzionario, 1883-1920 (Turin: Einaudi, 1965); Arrigo Petacco, Il comunista in camicia nera: Nicola Bombacci tra Lenin e Mussolini (Milan: Mondadori, 1996).

31. Ministry of the Interior, Casellario Politico Centrale, box 5225, folder 65589 “Trombetta, Domenico Antonio,” Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Italy; Ario Flamma, Italiani di America (New York: Cocce Press, 1936), 350-51; Report of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by Joseph T. Genco, Washington, DC, 7 December 1942, 865.20211/Trombetta Domenico/7, Department of State, Record Group 59, microfilm series LM 142, reel 41, National Archives II, College Park, MD; Gaetano Salvemini, Italian Fascist Activities in the United States, ed. Philip V. Cannistraro (New York: Center for Migration Studies, 1977), 36-37, 77-80, 85-88.

32. Philip V. Cannistraro, Blackshirts in Little Italy: Italian Americans and Fascism, 1921-1929 (West Lafayette, IN: Bordighera, 1999), 15-16.

33. “Ultimi movimenti nei due campi politici,” L’Opinione, 17 October 1934, 2; Ministry of the Interior, Casellario Politico Centrale, box 685, folder 78963 “Bocchini, Filippo,” Archivio Centrale dello Stato; Federal Bureau of Investigation, File 62-HQ-32701 “Filippo Bocchini,” FBI Archives, Washington, DC.

34. Ministry of the Interior, Casellario Politico Centrale, box 4466, folder 45710 “Rossoni, Edmondo,” Archivio Centrale dello Stato; Ferdinando Cordova, “Edmondo Rossoni,” in Uomini e volti del fascismo, ed. Ferdinando Cordova (Rome: Bulzoni, 1980), 337-403; John J. Tinghino, Edmondo Rossoni: From Revolutionary Syndicalism to Fascism (New York: Lang, 1991). For Il Proletario in this period, see Elisabetta Vezzosi, “Class, Ethnicity, and Acculturation in Il Proletario: The World War One Years,” in The Press of the Labor Migrants in Europe and North America, ed. Christiane Harzig and Dirk Hoerder (Bremen, Germany: Publications of the Labor Newspaper Preservation Project, 1985), 443-55.

35. Eugenia Scarzanella, Italiani malagente: Immigrazione, criminalità, razzismo in Argentina, 1890-1940 (Milan: Angeli, 1999); Mario Carelli, Carcamanos e comendadores: Os italianos de Sa~o Paulo, da realidade a` ficca~o, 1919-1930 (São Paulo: Atica, 1985); Enzo Barnabà, Morte agli italiani: Il massacro di Aigues-Mortes (Montenegro: Bucalo, 2001).

36. Maria de Luján Leiva, “Il movimento antifascista italiano in Argentina (1922-1945),” in Fondazione Brodolini, Gli italiani fuori d’Italia, 549-92; João Fábio Bertonha, Sob a sombra de Mussolini: Os italianos de São Paulo e a luta contra o fascismo, 1919-1945 (São Paulo: Annablume, 1999); Simonetta Tombaccini, Storia dei fuorusciti italiani in Francia (Milan: Mursia, 1988). Still, except perhaps for France, the following of fascism in these countries was not negligible among Italian immigrants. See Emilio Gentile, “L’emigrazione italiana in Argentina nella politica di espansione del nazionalismo e del fascismo,” Storia Contemporanea 17 (June 1986): 355-96; João Fábio Bertonha, O fascismo e os imigrantes italianos no Brasil (Porto Alegre: Edipucrs, 2001); Fascisti in Sud America, ed. Eugenia Scarzanella (Florence: Le Lettere, 2005); Caroline Wiegandt-Sakoun, “Le Fascisme italien en France,” in Les Italiens en France de 1914 à 1940, ed. Pierre Milza (Rome: École française de Rome, 1986), 431-69.

37. Stefano Luconi, “From Left to Right: The Not So Strange Career of Filippo Bocchini and Other Italian-American Radicals,” Italian American Review 6 (Autumn-Winter 1997-1998): 64-65. For the strike in Little Falls, see Robert E. Snyder, “Women, Wobblies, and Workers’ Rights: The 1912 Textile Strike in Little Falls, New York,” New York History 60 (January 1979): 29-57.

38. Edmondo Rossoni, “Per una Camera del Lavoro,” Il Proletario, 28 September 1912, 3; Elisabetta Vezzosi, “La Federazione Socialista Italiana del Nord America tra autonomia e scioglimento nel sindacato industriale, 1911-1921,” Studi Emigrazione 21 (March 1984): 92-93; Tinghino, Edmondo Rossoni, 48-51.

39. Enzo Giustiniani, “Sindacalismo nazionale,” Il Grido della Stirpe, 8 December 1923, 3.

40. Baldo Aquilano, “La canaglia sovversiva trasforma le unioni in covi anti-Italiani,” Il Grido della Stirpe, 17 May 1924, 1.

41. Domenico Saudino, “La muta fascista e la Locale 89,” La Parola del Popolo 50 (December 1958 – January 1959): 215-17; Nicoletta Pardi Corbella, “Storia di un sindacato operaio italiano a New York (i sarti),” in Rudolph J. Vecoli et al., Gli italiani negli Stati Uniti: L’emigrazione e l’opera degli italiani negli Stati Uniti (Florence: Istituto di Studi Americani, 1972), 373; Philip Jenkins, Hoods and Shirts: The Extreme Right in Pennsylvania (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), 94.

42. Angelo Flavio Guidi, “Fervore d’Italiani in America,” Il Legionario, 20 October 1935, 12; Fulvio Suvich to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, 18 February 1937, Records of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, series “Affari Politici, Stati Uniti, 1931-1945,” box 35, folder “Unione Italiana d’America: Servizio Informazioni Propaganda,” Archivio Storico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Rome, Italy; Vincent M. Lombardi, “Italian American Workers and the Response to Fascism,” in Pane e Lavoro: The Italian American Working Class, ed. George E. Pozzetta (Toronto: Multicultural History Society of Ontario, 1980), 141-57; Matteo Pretelli, “Fasci italiani e comunità italo-americane: Un rapporto difficile,” Giornale di Storia Contemporanea 4 (June 2001): 123-24, 127-31; Matteo Pretelli, “Tra estremismo e moderazione: Il ruolo dei circoli fascisti italo-americani nella politica estera italiana degli anni Trenta,” Studi Emigrazione 40 (September 2003): 318, 320.

43. Gaetano Salvemini, Memorie di un fuoruscito, ed. Gaetano Arfé (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1960), 110.

44. Fiorello B. Ventresco, “Italian Americans and the Ethiopian Crisis,” Italian Americana 6 (Autumn-Winter 1980): 18-19.

45. G.E. Modiglioni, “A proposito di collette per la Croce Rossa,” Giustizia 19 (January 1936): 11; “Il fascismo italiano in America si nasconde dietro la Croce Rossa,” L’Adunata dei Refrattari 23 November 1935, 6-7. For Giustizia, see Bénédicte Deschamps, “Giustizia, the ILGWU’s Official Italian Organ (1919-1935),” Altreitalie 35 (July-December 2007): 69-86. For L'Adunata dei Refrattari, see Leonardo Bettini, Bibliografia dell'anarchismo: Periodici e numeri unici anarchici pubblicati all'estero, 1872-1971 (Florence: Crescita Politica Editrice, 1976), 212-14, 294-95.

46. “Victory Is Hailed by Italians Here,” New York Times, 14 June 1936, 35.

47. Nunzio Pernicone, “Italian Immigrant Radicalism in New York,” in The Italians of New York: Five Centuries of Struggle and Achievement, ed. Philip V. Cannistraro (New York: John D. Calandra Italian American Institute and New York Historical Society, 1999), 88.

48. Vincenzo Frazzetta as quoted in Rudolph J. Vecoli, “Italian Americans and Race: To Be or Not To Be,” in ’Merica, ed. Aldo Bove and Giuseppe Massara (Stony Brook, NY: Forum Italicum, 2006), 101.

49. “Movimento di fondi pro Croce Rossa,” Il Popolo Italiano, 31 January 1936, 1; “Lista di sottoscrizione per la Croce Rossa,” La Libera Parola, 25 April 1936, 2; “Pro Croce Rossa Italiana,” Italian Echo, 24 July 1936, 1; Senate, California Legislature, 55th Session, Report of the Joint Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities (Sacramento: California State Printing Office, 1943), 286; Nadia Venturini, Neri e italiani a Harlem: Gli anni Trenta e la guerra d’Etiopia (Rome: Edizioni Lavoro, 1990), 137-38.

50. Fiorello B. Ventresco, “The Struggle of the Italian Anti-Fascist Movement in America (Spanish Civil War to World War II),” Ethnic Forum 6 (1986): 20-21.

51. Ventresco, “The Struggle of the Italian Anti-Fascist Movement ,” 22-23.

52. John Milazzo, “La locale 89,” Il Progresso Italo-Americano, 25 November 1935, 6.

53. Philip V. Cannistraro, “Luigi Antonini and the Italian Anti-Fascist Movement in the United States, 1940-1943,” Journal of American Ethnic History 5 (Fall 1985): 26.

54. Santo Farina, letter to the editor, La Stampa Libera, 19 May 1936, 6. Farina’s letter was a rejoinder to Un ennese, “Si sono ubriacati tutti,” La Stampa Libera, 14 May 1936, 6.

55. “La maledizione del patriottismo,” L’Adunata dei Refrattari, 16 November 1935, 1.

56. “Intervista con Antonini,” Giustizia 18 (November 1935): 18. This piece reproduced Antonini’s interview with Il Nuovo Avanti, an Italian-language anti-Fascist newspaper published in Paris.

57. “Ma cos’è questa patria?”, L’Adunata dei Refrattari, 29 February 1936, 1.

58. Tito Nunzio, Perché la guerra in Africa (New York: Unità, 1935). See also Eric Salerno, Rossi a Manhattan (Rome: Quiritta, 2001), 53-54; Amelia Paparazzo, “Il contributo degli emigrati calabresi alle lotte operaie degli Stati Uniti,” in Amelia Paparazzo et. al., Calabresi sovversivi nel mondo: L’esodo, l’impegno politico, le lotte degli emigrati in terra straniera (1880-1940) (Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino, 2004), 38-39.

59. “La ‘vittoria’ fascista in Africa non ha onorato l’Italia,” La Stampa Libera, 19 May 1936, 6.

60. Gaspare Nicotri, “Per l’Italia o per l’impero?,” La Stampa Libera, 24 May 1936, 6.

61. “Viva l’Italia, ma abbasso la Guerra!,” Giustizia 18 (December 1935): 18-19.

62. Giuseppe Bunone, “Per la verità,” Giustizia 19 (January 1936): 8; “La propaganda di una ‘Dama’ fascista,” La Stampa Libera, 4 June 1936, 6.

63. Louis Verna to Ralph Borrelli, Philadelphia, 16 May 1936, Ralph Borrelli Papers, box 2, Balch Institute Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

64. Caroline F. Ware, “Cultural Groups in the United States,” in The Cultural Approach to History, ed. Caroline F. Ware (New York: Columbia University Press, 1940), 63.

65. Max Ascoli, “On the Italian Americans,” Common Ground 3 (Autumn 1942), 46.

66. “Cronache Sovversive,” L’Adunata dei Refrattari, 13 May 1933, 2; “Il ‘Ras’ di Ferrara,” ibid., 27 May 1933, 4-5; “Il ‘Ras’ di Ferrara,” ibid., 17 June 1933, 2-3; “L’assassino,” ibid., 15 July 1933, 1. For Balbo’s flight and its repercussions in the United States, see Giordano Bruno Guerri, Italo Balbo (Milan: Garzanti, 1984), 251-66; Claudio G. Segre, Italo Balbo: A Fascist Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), 230-65; Ludovico Incisa di Camerana, Il grande esodo: Storia delle migrazioni italiane nel mondo (Milan: Corbaccio, 2003), 246-47.

67. A. Silvestri, “Corrispondenze,” L’Adunata dei Refrattari, 21 December 1935, 7; Un senigalliese, “Corrispondenze,” ibid., 22 February 1936, 7; “Gli italiani degeneri di Old Forge, Pa. celebrano la vittoria fascista in Etiopia,” La Stampa Libera, 11 June 1936, 6; Donato Carrello, “Bartone minaccia,” ibid., 3 July 1936, 6. For Il Martello, see Adriana Dadà, “Martello,” in Bettini, Bibliografia dell'anarchismo, 198-205.

68. “Un operaio antifascista aggredito dagli ‘amici’ di Salv. Bartone,” La Stampa Libera, 19 June 1936, 2.

69. “Auguri di buon viaggio al Sig. Salvatore Bartone,” Il Progresso Italo-Americano, 6 July 1936, 5; “Gli ufficiali della Locale 63, A.C.W. augurano ‘buon viaggio’ al fascista Bartone,” La Stampa Libera, 7 July 1936, 2.

70. Minutes of the Executive Board, Italian Cloak, Suit and Skirt Makers’ Union, Local 48, ILGWU, 19 March 1936, reel 2.

71. Uno dei presenti, “Corrispondenze,” L’Adunata dei Refrattari, 9 November 1935, 8.

72. Gerald Meyer, Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician, 1902-1954 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989), 119, 246.

73. Thomas Kessner, Fiorello H. La Guardia and the Making of Modern New York (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1989), 404.

74. “Vibrante celebrazione d’italianità al Madison Sq. Garden,” Il Progresso Italo-Americano, 15 December 1935, 2; For Sirovich, see “Sirovich, William I.,” in Jews in American Politics, ed. L. Sandy Maisel (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001), 421.

75. Umberto Ferrari, “Un richiamo agli amministratori della Casa del Popolo di Phila, Pa.,” La Stampa Libera, 19 May 1936, 6.

76. Aaron Gillette, Racial Theories in Fascist Italy (New York: Routledge, 2002), 50-99.

77. Gary R. Mormino and George E. Pozzetta, The Immigrant World of Ybor City: Italians and Their Latin Neighbors in Tampa, 1885-1985 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987).

78. Noi, “Corrispondenze,” L’Adunata dei Refrattari, 4 April 1936, 7-8.

79. Gus Tyler, Look for the Union Label: A History of the ILGWU (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1995), 256.

80. “Contro l’odio di razza! Pace e tolleranza!,” Giustizia 21 (October 1938): 1-2.

81. “Movimento nella Cloakmakers’ Union di N.Y.,” Giustizia 21 (November 1938): 2.

82. Agnes Maybeth McRoberts, “Attitudes and Family Situations of Thirty Works Progress Administration Employees, 1938” (M.A. thesis, University of Pittsburgh, 1938), 31-34; Trout, Boston, 191; Richard N. Juliani, The Social Organization of Immigration: The Italians in Philadelphia (New York: Arno Press, 1980), 185-87.

83. Bayor, Neighbors in Conflict, 85.

84. Libro ricordo del XXV anniversario della unione dei cloakmakers italiani (New York: International Newspaper Printing Co., 1941), 74-76, 79.

85. John P. Diggins, Mussolini and Fascism: The View from America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972); Pellegrino Nazzaro, “Il manifesto dell’Alleanza Anti-Fascista del Nord America,” Affari Sociali Internazionali 2 (June 1974): 171-85; Fiorello B. Ventresco, “Crisis and Unity: The Italian Radicals in America in the 1920s,” Ethnic Forum 15 (1995): 17-29.

86. Pietro Riccobaldi, Straniero indesiderabile (Milan: Rosellina Archinto, 1988), 114-16.

87. Jennifer Guglielmo, “Italian American Women’s Political Activism in New York City, 1890s-1940s,” in The Italians of New York,110-11.

88. Bénédicte Deschamps, “Il Lavoro, the Italian Voice of the Amalgamated, 1915-1932,” Italian American Review 8 (Spring-Summer '01): 103-110; Deschamps, “Giustizia,” 78-81.