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FTR #38 Il Martello

Listen now: One Segment [1]

Attempts by Italian-American publisher Carlo Tresca to inform the Italian-American community about the repressive nature of Mussolini’s “corporate state” generated attempts at suppressing Il Martello (Tresca’s Italian-language American paper). The suppression appears to have been engineered by wealthy American interests allied with Il Duce. Seminal American journalist H.L. Mencken was one of the few journalists to cover this violation of the First Amendment and an article he wrote for the Baltimore Sun comprises the material for this program. At a meeting in New York City, Mussolini’s diplomats called for the suppression of Tresca’s work. Domestic fascists (some of whom were honorary members of Mussolini’s fascist party) promptly undertook that suppression. They engineered the interdiction of Il Martello’s circulation, the undermining of the paper’s advertising revenue and, ultimately, the jailing of Tresca himself on trumped-up charges. (Recorded in the fall of 1995.)