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On the Edge of DemocracyItaly, 1943-1948$
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Rosario Forlenza

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198817444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198817444.001.0001

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Between East and West

Between East and West

Communism, Anti-Communism, and the Cold War

(p.102) 4 Between East and West
On the Edge of Democracy

Rosario Forlenza

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the growing influence of both Soviet and domestic Communism on the evolution of democracy and the political transformation of Italy. It inserts the political and existential choices of the fledgling democratic society into the overarching context of the time, which was the incipient Cold War. Italy was a microcosm of this global context, because the most important political forces, the Catholics and the Communists, operated with the myth of freedom/America and the myth of the Soviet Union respectively. Yet the struggle was not exclusively pervaded and marked by contrast, fear, and opposition. Party political opponents had fought together in the anti-fascist Resistance and had collaborated in the organization of the democratic institutional arrangement and in the writing of the republican Constitution. The apparently ideological struggle between Catholics and communists was in reality a search for order and meaning between two contested sovereignties.

Keywords:   Communism, anti-Communism, Catholic anti-Communism, Vatican, Trieste, Cold War, the Soviet myth, Italian Communist Party (PCI), Christian Democracy, search for order

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