Biography of Angelica Balabanoff – extract from the book

16.10.2015 Posted in Red Writing No Comments

Those who have been following my blog know that I have a book coming out about Angelica Balabanoff by McFarland Publishers in the Fall 2015, The Strange Comrade Angelica Balabanoff - early 1900 - collection of Giorgio GiannelliBalabanoff: The Life of a Communist Rebel. To celebrate the book launch, for the time being I will dedicate my blog to various themes about Angelica, her life, friends, recipes and extracts from my book. To start with here is an extract from the Introduction that gives  insight into the book. Let me know how you liked it.


Had she ever been married? Or had kids? Was she really a mistress of Lenin, Mussolini, Trotsky and Stalin? Was Edda Mussolini, the eldest daughter of the infamous dictator, her daughter? Angelica’s life was full of mysteries and unexplainable events. …

Angelica Balabanoff in the 1950s - Rome - photo by Judy KellyHer life might have seemed odd, eccentric and somber. Yet a few years before her death she wrote to her friend, Ella Wolfe, the wife of the American socialist, historian and writer, Bertram Wolfe, the words that depicted her personality better than any other: “Believe me, even if I had much money at my disposal I would not like to live better than I do now. It was the dream of my life – since my childhood, to share the sufferings and deprivations of the poorest among the poor. As a matter of fact it so happened that I never did – I lived also (please check this quote-it does not sound right. if this is exactly what she wrote in English, you should write (sic) after this word) better than the great majority of human beings, and so I do much too (same thing here) I assure you my dear, I have not met – neither in life nor in literature a single person happier than I am!”

The day she died, newspapers all over the world from The New York Times, Herald Tribune, L’Humanité, and Socialismo Democratico to the Weimar Republic came out with obituaries titled “The Last Greatest Revolutionary Dies…” and “The One Who Had Known Lenin and Mussolini”. A few months later no one remembered her, apart from a few friends.

This biography tells the unique story of an amazing woman forgotten by history.

To know more about Angelica please consult the page About Angelica

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