El Traidor (Benito Mussolini)

[Buenos Aires]: Los Antifascistas Italianos en Argentina, (1943). First Edition. Octavo (20cm). Plain card wrappers in pictorial dustwrapper; 203, [2]pp; frontispiece portrait. Warmly inscribed and signed inside front wrapper to American communists Bertram D. Wolfe and his wife Ella in year of publication: "For my dear comrades and friends Ella and Bert W. hoping that 1944 will be less cruel to humanity than its immediate predecessor." Expected marginal tanning to text, else a sound, attractive copy in a lightly worn dustwrapper. Translation (by Balabanoff) from the Italian of Il Traditore (NY:1942). Text entirely in Spanish save the final page, which reprints a poem in Italian, "Inno dei Lavoratori," by Filippo Turati.

Major association copy of one of Balabanoff's scarcest books. Angelica Balabanoff (1878-1965), an Italian Jew, was among the founders of the Italian Communist Party in 1900; she joined the Russian Bolsheviks in 1917 and served as secretary of the Comintern from 1919-20, during which time she became closely affiliated with Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, and many others. She broke with the Bolsheviks and left Russia in 1922, after which she once again became active in the Italian Socialist party. During Mussolini's regime she went into exile, first in Switzerland, then Paris and, briefly, Mexico and Buenos Aires; finally, New York City, where she remained until the close of the war. Balabanoff wrote fluently in at least four languages, publishing original works in Italian, Spanish, English and French (and often, as here, providing her own translations for multilingual editions). The current copy, inscribed by Balabanoff to the influential American communists (and, later, anti-communists) Bertram and Ella Wolfe, comprises a significant association; Balabanoff and Ella Wolfe met during the former's war-time exile and remained lifelong friends; their correspondence, housed at the Hoover Institution, provided much of the source material for Maria Lafont's biographyThe Strange Comrade Balabanoff (McFarland, 2016). This edition rare; one physical copy only in OCLC (Houghton); the preceding Italian and English-language editions also scarce, represented by fewer than 5 copies each in institutional holdings.

Price: $500.00

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