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Living Like Nomads

The Milanese Anarchist Movement Before Fascism

Author(s): Fausto Buttà

Book Description

Despite the vast amount of research on Italian anarchism conducted over the last forty years, little is known about the history of Milanese anarchists. Living Like Nomads: The Milanese Anarchist Movement Before Fascism illuminates anarchist ideas, practices and militants in Milan during the two decades before the rise of fascism. It tells the fascinating stories of some Italian anarchists at the beginning of the twentieth century, and sheds light on their lifestyle, political campaigns and ideological debates.

Living Like Nomads examines anarchist thought, particularly the relationship between theories of individualism and communist anarchism. It engages with masters of this school of philosophy such as Bakunin, Malatesta, Stirner and Kropotkin. By detailing the lives of unknown anarchists, it reveals the pivotal role played by anarchists – and anarchism – within the eclectic Italian Left. Milanese anarchists produced exciting initiatives and captivating ideological debates. While they did not cause a revolution in Milan, their importance cannot be overlooked. Anarchists in Milan gave birth to the first non-denominational modern school, campaigned against militarism, engaged with the labour movement, and published extensively. No other anarchist movement has published as much as Milanese anarchists did. While such anarchists did not prevent the rise of fascism in Italy, they were the first instance of anti-fascist resistance when they stood up against the violence of Mussolini’s black shirts after the First World War. Given anarchism’s principles of individual freedom, social justice and equality, this insightful study of the troubled history of anarchist movements contributes to a greater understanding of the modern Left.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-7823-4
ISBN-10: 1-4438-7823-5
Date of Publication: 01/09/2015
Pages / Size: 299 / A5
Price: £47.99


Fausto Buttà is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, where he also teaches Italian language and contemporary history. Born and bred in Milan, Fausto moved to Western Australia in 2003, and has spent the past decade researching Italian anarchism. This is his first book.