Longo, Luigi

Longo, Luigi

Longo, Luigi (lo͞oēˈjē lôngˈgō), 1900–1980, Italian political leader. He was a founder of the Italian Communist party in 1921. In the Spanish civil war he served as inspector-general of the international brigades and fought personally against Benito Mussolini's troops at Guadalajara. Returning to Italy during World War II, he organized partisan units to fight against the Germans. He was elected to the constituent assembly in 1946 and to parliament in 1948. From 1945 to 1964 he was deputy secretary of the Italian Communist party. He became secretary-general of the party in 1964 and served until 1972, when he was given the largely honorary post of party president.
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Longo, Luigi


Born Mar. 15, 1900, in Fubine-Monferrato, Alessandria Province. Prominent in the Italian and international workers’ movements.

The son of a peasant, Longo studied at the Turin Institute of Technology and subsequently served in the army. He entered the Socialist Party in Turin in 1920, and in 1921 he joined the newly founded Italian Communist Party (ICP). From 1921 to 1928, Longo was a member of the Leadership of the Communist Youth Federation of Italy (CYFI). In 1922 he was elected to the city committee of the Communist Party in Turin. That year he was a delegate to the Fourth Congress of the Comintern and to the Third Congress of the Communist Youth International (CYI). From 1924 to 1926, Longo was a member of the Secretariat of the CYFI and editor of its central organ, the newspaper Avan-guardia.

In 1926, at the Third Congress of the ICP, Longo was elected to the Central Committee of the ICP. That year he was sent to Moscow as the CYFI’s representative to the Executive Committee of the CYI and was elected to the Executive Committee of the CYI. He attended the Sixth Congress of the Comintern and the Fifth Congress of the CYI in 1928. Subsequently he directed party work among Italian emigrants in Switzerland, worked in the Foreign Bureau of the ICP in France, and in 1931 was elected to the Politburo (Leadership) of the ICP. In 1932 he became an ICP representative to the Executive Committee of the Comintern (in Moscow) and was elected a candidate member of the committee. In 1935 he left for France, where he served as plenipotentiary of the ICP’s Central Committee for work among Italian emigrants.

From the outset of the antifascist war in Spain (1936-39), Longo helped organize aid to the Spanish Republic and was a founder and inspector-general of the International Brigades (under the name of Gallo). He fought in many battles. With the defeat of the Spanish Republic, Longo returned to France, where he was interned. In 1941 the French authorities handed him over to the fascist government of Italy. Until the collapse of the Italian fascist regime in 1943, Longo remained in prison and in exile on the island of Ventotene. During the national liberation struggle of the Italian people against the fascist German invaders (1943-45), he was one of the main organizers and leaders of the partisan movement. He served as commander in chief of the Garibaldi (communist) brigades, a member of the Central Committee of National Liberation, chairman of the committee’s military commission, and deputy commander of all partisan units.

At the Fifth Congress of the Italian Communist Party, Longo was elected deputy general secretary of the party (January 1946). In August 1964, after the death of P. Togliatti, he became general secretary of the ICP, and since 1972 he has been chairman of the ICP. In 1946-47, he was a deputy to the Constituent Assembly, and since 1948 he has served as a parliamentary deputy.

Longo is the author of important works on contemporary capitalism, on the economic development of postwar Italy, and on the Italian people’s struggle against fascism and for democracy and socialism.


Izbr. Star’t i rechi: 1946-1975. Moscow, 1975.
Il miracolo economico e I’analisi marxista. Rome, 1962. (With G. Longo.)
Verso il X Congresso del PCI. [Rome, 1963.] (With P. Togliatti.)
Un ’alternative per uscire dalla crisi [Rapporto a IXII Congresso del PCI]. Rome, 1969.
In Russian translation: Narod Italii v bor’be. Moscow, 1951.
Revizionizm novyi i staryi. Moscow, 1958.
Internatsional’nye brigady v Ispanii. Moscow, 1960.
Mezhdu reaktsiei i revoliutsiei. Moscow, 1974. (With C. Salinari.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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