Guerra civile: experience, memory and contrasting histories of the Resistance in Italy

TitleGuerra civile: experience, memory and contrasting histories of the Resistance in Italy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsStewart, Fiona M.
JournalJournal of Modern Italian Studies
Volume23
Issue3
Pagination293 - 312
Date Published2018/06//
Abstract

This article examines the disagreement between two partisans turned historians, Nuto Revelli and Claudio Pavone, on the legitimacy of the term ‘civil war’ to describe the Italian Resistance of 1943-1945. ‘Civil war’ is a controversial term in Italian and European discussions of World War II. Accordingly, ‘civil war’ provokes a study of the intersection of ideology and ethics, experiential memory and history in postwar Europe. But why should Revelli and Pavone, two men who had been on the same side during the Resistance, see things so differently? This article demonstrates that each historian’s experience before and during World War II shaped their participation in the Resistance and their subsequent representation of it. Consequently, their divergent experiences offer an explanation as to why Pavone argues that the Resistance was a civil war and Revelli argues that it was not, without relativizing in political and ethical analysis.

Short TitleJournal of Modern Italian Studies