"We must stop this brain from working for 20 years…"
Antonio Gramsci (1891 – 1937) was a leading Italian Marxist. He was an intellectual, a journalist and a major theorist who spent his last eleven years in Mussolini’s prisons. At the trial of Antonio Gramsci in 1928, the prosecutor declared: “We must stop this brain from working for 20 years.” Gramsci, the former leader of the Italian Communist Party and a gifted Marxist theoretician and journalist, was sentenced to two decades’ imprisonment by Benito Mussolini’s fascist government. Gramsci is best remembered for his political and philosophical writings. Written in prison and published posthumously, they include Lettere dal Carcere (1947) and Opere (nine vols, 1947–54), which deal with the nature of the political process and the role of intellectuals in that process. His theoretical ideas and practical criticism are still influential among left-wing thinkers.