Red Brigades pp 242-253 | Cite as


  • Robert C. MeadeJr.


Why the BR? Why terrorism in Italy? It is not easy to arrive at firm and comprehensive conclusions about this complex matter, but this book has endeavoured to present an accurate portrait of the ‘years of lead’ and to offer an explanation, or at least the beginnings of an understanding. Political violence and terrorism resulted from a complex series of influences. Among other factors were the extraordinary transformation that Italy had undergone by the late 1960s and was still undergoing, the trauma of the ending of a way of life and the crisis in values that followed, and the injustices and social problems created or aggravated or merely left unresolved by the recent economic miracle; the unrest in Third World countries and among students around the world and the accompanying intellectual ferment; the extent and heavily ideological nature of the student protest in Italy; the history of political violence in Italy; the myth of the Resistance; the deeply-rooted revolutionary tradition; the evolution of the PCI; the extent and ideological nature of labor unrest; the violence of a far right with strong roots in Italian history; and the peculiar nature and weaknesses of the Italian political system, the mistakes and failures of the politicians, especially the Christian Democratic Party, and the fact that the system was blocked, unable to offer a credible alternative.


Democratic Society Terrorist Group Political Violence Conspiracy Theory Italian System 
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© Robert C. Meade, Jr. 1990

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  • Robert C. MeadeJr.

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