- born Jan. 23, 1891, Ales, Sardiniadied April 27, 1937, Rome, ItalyItalian intellectual and politician.After entering the University of Turin, he joined the Italian Socialist Party in 1914. In 1921 he left the Socialists to found the Italian Communist Party (see Democratic Party of the Left), and he spent two years in the Soviet Union. In 1924 he became head of the party and was elected to the national legislature. The party was outlawed by the fascist government of Benito Mussolini in 1926, and Gramsci was arrested and imprisoned for 11 years; in poor health, he was released to die at 46. His influential Letters from Prison (1947) and other writings outline a version of communism less dogmatic than Soviet communism. His work has influenced sociology, political theory, and international relations.
* * *▪ Italian politicianborn Jan. 23, 1891, Ales, Sardinia, Italydied April 27, 1937, Romeintellectual and politician, a founder of the Italian Communist Party whose ideas greatly influenced Italian communism.In 1911 Gramsci began a brilliant scholastic career at the University of Turin (Turin, University of), where he came in contact with the Socialist Youth Federation and joined the Socialist Party (1914). During World War I he studied Marxist (Marxism) thought and became a leading theoretician. He formed a leftist group within the Socialist Party and founded the newspaper L'Ordine Nuovo (May 1919; “The New Order”). Gramsci encouraged the development of factory councils (democratic bodies elected directly by industrial workers), which undercut the control of trade unions. The councils participated in a general strike in Turin (1920), in which Gramsci played a key role.Gramsci led a leftist walkout at the Socialist congress at Livorno (January 1921) to found the Italian Communist Party (see Democrats of the Left) and then spent two years in the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Back in Italy, he became head of his party (April 1924) and was elected to the country's Chamber of Deputies. After his party was outlawed by Benito Mussolini (Mussolini, Benito)'s fascists (fascism), Gramsci was arrested and imprisoned (1926). At his trial the fascist prosecutor argued, “We must stop his brain from working for 20 years.” In prison, despite rigorous censorship, Gramsci carried out an extraordinary and wide-ranging historical and theoretical study of Italian society and possible strategies for change. Plagued with poor health in the 1930s, he died not long after being released from prison for medical care.Extracts of Gramsci's prison writings were published for the first time in the mid-20th century; the complete Quaderni del carcere (Prison Notebooks) appeared in 1975. Many of his propositions became a fundamental part of Western Marxist thought and influenced the post-World War II strategies of communist parties in the West. His reflections on the cultural and political concept of hegemony (notably in southern Italy), on the Italian Communist Party itself, and on the Roman Catholic Church were particularly important. The letters he wrote from prison also were published posthumously as Lettere dal carcere (1947; Letters from Prison).Additional ReadingGiuseppe Fiori, Antonio Gramsci: Life of a Revolutionary (1990; originally published in Italian, 1966). Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, ed. and trans. by Joseph A. Buttigieg (1992– ; originally published in Italian, 1975); Letters from Prison, ed. by Frank Rosengarten, 2 vol. (1994; originally published in Italian, 1947); Antonio Gramsci: Pre-prison Writings, ed. by Richard Bellamy (1994); and Further Selections from the Prison Notebooks, ed. and trans. by Derek Boothman (1995).
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Gramsci, Antonio — (1891–1937) One of the most important and influential of Marxist thinkers. Antonio Gramsci outlined an interpretation of Marxism that offers an alternative to Leninism and suggests imaginative innovations and revisions to orthodox Marxism. In… … Historical dictionary of Marxism
Gramsci, Antonio — (1891–1937) Born in Cagliari, Sardinia, Gramsci overcame a serious childhood accident and his family’s limited economic means to attend the university in Turin. It was here that he began his involvement in politics, joining the Partito… … Historical Dictionary of modern Italy
Gramsci, Antonio — (1891 1937) A prominent Italian Marxist theorist and noted critic of economic determinism . After a childhood marked by poverty and ill health, Gramsci entered the University of Turin, where he seems to have been a particularly talented student… … Dictionary of sociology
Gramsci,Antonio — Gram·sci (grämʹshē), Antonio. 1891 1937. Italian political leader and theorist who helped establish the Italian Communist party in 1921. Mussolini later outlawed the party and Gramsci was imprisoned (1926 1937). * * * … Universalium
Gramsci, Antonio — ► (1891 1937) Político y teórico marxista italiano. Fundó, con Togliatti, el Partido Comunista Italiano (1921), y cuyo órgano, L´Unità, creó tres años después. Para Gramsci el marxismo no es un sistema sino una crítica continua junto con una… … Enciclopedia Universal
Gramsci, Antonio — (1891–1937) Italian communist and social theorist. Born in Sardinia and educated in Turin, Gramsci became one of the most celebrated 20th century interpreters of Marx . A principal founder and the first general secretary of the Italian communist… … Philosophy dictionary
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GRAMSCI, Antonio — (1891 1937) Italian COMMUNIST leader and THEORETICAL MARXIST who is viewed by many as the most important European communist since LENIN. His works became fashionable among left wing intellectuals in Britain and America because they appeared to … Concise dictionary of Religion
Gramsci, Antonio — (Ales, Oristano 1891 Roma 1937) scrittore e saggista; uomo politico … Dizionario biografico elementare del Novecento letterario italiano
Gramsci — Gramsci, Antonio … Philosophy dictionary