ITALY: Older & Paler

In Rome's Teatro Adriano, where Mussolini used to hold Blackshirt rallies, Italian Communists gathered last week for a long-delayed seventh national party congress. Peace—Red style—was the battle cry of 748 delegates and more than 1,000 special guests.

The party had come a long way—mostly downgrade—since the sixth congress three years ago. It had been crushed in the 1948 national elections. Its dominance over Italy's trade unions had been seriously challenged by the rise of the anti-Communist CISL (Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Liberi); its recent attempts at political strikes had fizzled miserably; its strong-arm squads had been routed and its hidden arsenals...

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