ITALY: Reds on the Run

Italy's Communist Party, the largest outside the Iron Curtain, assembled in Rome's marbled Hall of Fascism last week to try to pick up the pieces. Gone were those reassuring symbols of unquestioned authority—the looming portraits of Stalin and his archangels. Gone, too, was the unshakable confidence of the rank and file in the pyrotechnic brilliance of Palmiro Togliatti, the man whom Italian Communists call // Migliore (The Best).

Under the watchful eye of Soviet "Observer" Ekaterina Furtseva, the only woman member of Russia's ruling Presidium, stoop-shouldered Palmiro Togliatti played it safe, confined himself to abstruse analyses of Marxist doctrine and...

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