Il Martello [The Hammer]. New York: Casa Ed. "Il Martello," 1918-1943.

Il Martello - main.jpg


Il Martello [The Hammer]. New York: Casa Ed. "Il Martello," 1918-1943.


Carlo Tresca was the editor-in-chief (or equivalent) at several radical newspapers over his career, but the one that he founded and ran for decades — Il Martello — is the one most closely identified with him, and he with it.

Tresca founded Il Martello in 1916, and he directed it (with some interruptions due to poor finances) until his assassination in 1943; the paper continued for a few more years, until 1946.

As is evident from the broad range of writing genres it encompassed, Il Martello was not a traditional Italian anarchist newspaper or a “movement” publication in the specific way that La Questione Sociale (edited by Galleani and Caminita) was for anarcho-syndicalists.

Rather, Il Martello was too eclectic and unorthodox, like Tresca himself, to be classified according to conventional typology —“You can’t label him. You can’t classify him,” said Max Eastman in a famous profile in The New Yorker.

In 1923, Il Martello reached international distribution, being mailed throughout Italy. Tresca mailed his paper to subscribers in Italy without charging any money, according to Nunzio Pernicone in Carlo Tresca: Portrait of a Rebel. The Italian government responded by banning the importation of Il Martello. This was probably a "first" for an Italian-language American periodical's foray into the Italian market. (It's the converse of the banning of export of L'Asino from Rome to the United States that led to the "publication" in New York of the same magazine, with the same cartoons and stories but with advertisements from New York Italian businesses, not Roman ones.)

The personal affection that Tresca’s friends and colleagues had for him infuriated the more cerebral Galleani and his ultraloyal founders, who unfairly attacked Tresca personally when they were unable to do so doctrinally. Still, there was plenty in Tresca's life - e.g., his affair with a 16-year old tutoring him in English - that merited personal disapproval and even condemnation with Galleanisti looking very hard.

The collection includes:


Carlo Tresca


Casa Ed. "Il Martello"




Carlo Tresca, “Il Martello [The Hammer]. New York: Casa Ed. "Il Martello," 1918-1943.,” Italian-Language American Imprints: The Periconi Collection, accessed September 26, 2022,

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