Blood of the Reds

Pino Casamassima

€ 18,50
Publisher: Cairo Editore
Pages: 416
ISBN/EAN: 9788860522030

Perhaps at no other time have young people been protagonists as in that era that began with the protests in American universities in the first half of the Sixties which led up to the myth of ’68. A contagious protest which spread like wildfire all over the planet, including Europe, like an intoxicating virus for which no antidote is known. Then came the Seventies which in the West meant explosive breaks, political ferment, conflicts and grand collective ideals, but also new music, new literature, new cinema, sexual liberation, pacifism and feminism, gigantic strikes and workers’ revolts, mass rock concerts and student disorders always laying in wait. The Seventies which marked an indelible confine between the before and the after. Young people are everywhere, in the streets and in the stadiums, occupying the universities and screaming in the town squares. Angry, determined, often reckless, perhaps even naive, sometimes visionaries, but above all, happy to be present, to express themselves, to count. From America to Europe that decade has long since finished with its balance sheet of victories and defeats, metabolized and, as it should be, become the past.

But not in Italy where the Seventies are still an open wound, an eternal present loaded with too many mysteries, too many dead. And the dead much too young. The best of the young suffocated in the blood of the government’s “friendly fire”, or stabbed with a knife by the Fascists in revenge, or by the Mafia fearful of their courage and capacity to denounce injustices. Among the many young people who will be forever eighteen, twenty, twenty-five, murdered on an ordinary day of madness, Peppino Impastato is perhaps the best known, dead on the same day as Aldo Moro, along with the First Republic.

Yet, the lives of so many other young people cut short by death from politics were impassioned and thrilling: the «reds» murdered on the front of violence during a tragic and senseless decade that risks sinking into oblivion.

For Casamassima, reconstructing the human and political stories of these twenty-two young people and gathering testimonies about them all over Italy, meant retracing that still obscure piece of this country’s history and bringing them alive again in the memories of the people who knew and loved them. And many of these people, more than three decades later, are still waiting for a word, if not of truth, of justice.

The author
Pino Casamassima, a journalist, has worked in the editorial staff of periodicals and dailies. An editorial consultant, literary critic and TV author, he has published twenty or so books, some of which have been translated in foreign countries. Among his last books are Donne di piombo. Undici vite nella lotta armata (2005) and Il libro nero delle Brigate Rosse (2007).

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