From a Heroic Past

From a Heroic Past

Carlo Tresca’s life was exciting and romantic, the stuff of legends. The anarcho-syndicalist Italian-born labor agitator, journalist, and fierce foe of capitalism, Stalinism, and fascism was a stormy figure on the American left. He was so flamboyant in the American labor movement during the first four decades of this century that it would seem impossible to write a mediocre biography of him. Yet I feel that, even though the book has been praised by many reviewers, Alfred Kazin among them, Gallagher’s account doesn’t fully succeed in doing him justice. What is more, she fails to make us understand the man’s historic position in the American labor movement and his major role in American anarcho-syndicalist circles before the First World War and after.

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