America is Coming, America is Coming!

Rosario Forlenza

in On the Edge of Democracy

Published in print November 2018 | ISBN: 9780198817444
Published online November 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191859045 | DOI:
America is Coming, America is Coming!

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Political History


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This chapter analyzes the importance of “America” (effectively synonymous with “the West”) as an idealized goal of the political, social, and individual imagination, and examines how the American model of democracy shaped the democratic aspirations of millions of Italians. The arrival of the American armies exerted a great fascination on Italians. However, the myth of America as land of freedom and plenty had been already introduced within the fabric of the Italian society by the power of cinema and literature, and, most importantly, by the culture of letters produced by millions of Italian emigrants. The attraction of America was not only an existential alternative to the backward and poor Italy, further demoralized by the failure of Fascism, but also an effective carrier of the decisive electoral triumph of Christian Democracy over the leftist Popular Front in the parliamentary elections of 1948.

Keywords: American myth; cinema; Hollywood; American literature; emigration; letters; US propaganda; Allied landing; Christian Democracy

Chapter.  17607 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Political History

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