Years of Lead

Myth of the 20th Century

In the aftermath of the Second World War, Europe – particularly the Axis Power countries – was the prime battleground for dominance between the emergent superpowers of the United States and the Soviet Union. Along with East and West Germany, Italy was similarly divided along ideological lines, with pro-American, typically business-oriented interests, pitted against mostly communist and Soviet-sympathizing labor movements. In between were the fascists, who sought to retain or adapt the system for the post war era that had held power officially for over 20 years prior to the war. Between 1969 and 1980, the Cold War turned hot for civilians and ideologues alike, with estimates putting the death toll over 400 from a series of assassinations and bombings. Amidst it all, the Italian government pursued the ‘Policy of Tension’, which many saw an attempt to inflame the violence in order to bolster the demand for a security state…

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