2 Pages

il manifesto

In 1969, a group of PCI leaders published a monthly periodical, il manifesto, in which they criticized their party for not taking a firm enough stance against the USSR’s violent military repression of the Czechoslovak reform movements. Expelled from the party, they continued to publish the periodical, which became a national daily paper as of 28 April 1971. At the outset, Il manifesto consisted of only four pages devoted exclusively to politics with no general, local, book, society, crime or sports news and no advertising. Its success (with sales increasing from 15,000 to 40,000 copies daily) contradicted general opinion, which presumed the death of political ideologies and foresaw the disappearance of a purely political press. The paper filled a space neglected by the historical left-wing parties (the PCI and the PSI) and their newspapers L’Unità (Unity) and L’Avanti! (Forward!), and provided a forum for expressing and discussing ideas concerning political and social renewal related to worker and student agitation of 1968. Articles in il manifesto were written in very elegant, often difficult language, emphasizing theoretical considerations but always inviting the reader to assume an active role without feeling manipulated because the topics dealt with were given ample background through short informative articles. This appealed to a readership made up of political leaders and politicized intellectuals more than to one of students and workers. It also attracted readers of differing political opinion or those in search of one.