This interdisciplinary work philosophically analyzes the role of positive duties in moral theory, the efficacy of theocratic republicanism, viable strategies for political revolutions, the implications of an enduring Sicilian ethos, and the profits and perils of the individual-community continuum, in service of distinctive interpretations of the lives and ideologies of Giuseppe Mazzini, Antonio Gramsci, and Salvatore Giuliano.
Il Risorgimento Italiano, the national unification movement, refers to the period from 1821, the initial unsuccessful Milanese and Piedmontese insurrections against Austria, to 1870, the annexing of Rome into the Kingdom of Italy, which itself was established in 1861. The movement and its aftermath hovered over the lives of the Genoese republican prophet of Italian liberation and unification, the Sardinian communist political theorist imprisoned by The Black Shirts, and the Sicilian separatist murdering and fighting for his life and the honor of his island.
By dissecting the lives and philosophies of Mazzini, Gramsci, and Giuliano, by extracting moral, political, and existential lessons from their aspirations and enterprises, by reflecting on their ideals from our divergent social context, by evaluating their virtues and vices from a wider perspective, we may confront the people that we are and reimagine the people we might become.
Raymond Angelo Belliotti is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy Emeritus.
Chapter Two: Mazzini’s Political Hopes, Fears, and Reality
Chapter Four: Gramsci’s Political Theory, Imprisonment, and Death
Chapter Five: Salvatore Giuliano (1922-1950): The Transcendent, Fatally Flawed Sicilian
Chapter Six: Giuliano’s Disgrace, Quixotic Struggle, and Final Defeat