All the Right Enemies: The Life and Murder of Carlo Tresca

All the Right Enemies: The Life and Murder of Carlo Tresca

All the Right Enemies: The Life and Murder of Carlo Tresca

All the Right Enemies: The Life and Murder of Carlo Tresca

Excerpt

Homage to the Imperishable Memory of Carlo Tresca. When Carlo Tresca's comrades compiled the book of tributes so titled, they would not have believed that his name would fade with their own generation. That was in 1943, not very long ago in historical time for a man whose praises were sung publicly by writers, philosophers, labor leaders, and even some politicians, and whose murder was the political scandal of the day.

I first heard Carlo Tresca's name on an evening some thirty-five years after his death. On that occasion it was linked with two other names which I did already know: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Carmine Galante. Of this strange trio--an anarchist, a Communist party leader, and a gangster--only Galante was still alive, and he only for another year.

I heard enough about Tresca that evening to want to know more. Here and there in the following weeks I found admiring references to "the anarchist Carlo Tresca," but only in passing, as if the reader were expected to know of Tresca's career and legend and understand his significance.

I soon began to get a sense of the man. During his life, from 1879 to 1943, Carlo Tresca seemed to have set himself personally against all the varieties of tyranny that the era spawned. And if that seems a large order, opposition apparently came as naturally to him as his exuberance, his ability to charm, his love of sensual pleasures, his gift for friendship, his predilection for quarrels and conspiracies. To thousands of Italian immigrants Tresca was a hero; to the FBI he was "notorious"; to a number of American intellectuals and labor leaders he was a counsel; to American and . . .

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