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Antonio Gramsci
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    (January 22, 1891-April 27, 1937)
    Born in Ales, Italy
    Of Arbëreshë (Albanian Italian) descent
    Expanded on the idea of cultural hegemony by theorizing that capitalism is deeply entrenched in society through the ideology of the bourgeoisie perpetuated by the state and that the proletariat must develop its own culture to counter it
    Emphasized the need to educate workers to encourage the rise of intellectuals among them
    Advocated for workers' councils as a proper means of controlling production
    Joined the Italian Socialist Party (1913)
    Writings include the essays 'Newspapers and the Workers' (1916), 'Men or machines?' (1916), and 'One Year of History' (1918); and the collections 'Pre-Prison Writings', 'The Prison Notebooks', and 'Selections from the Prison Notebooks'
    Co-founded the newspaper L'Ordine Nuovo (April 1919)
    Became head of the Communist Party of Italy (April 1924)
    Imprisoned under the Fascist government (June 4, 1928-April 21, 1937)
    Died from a cerebral hemorrhage in Rome
    Ashes buried in the Cimitero Acattolico in Rome
    He had an ugly hairstyle.
    He dropped out of the University of Turin. (1915)
    He supported the 1917 Russian Revolution.
    His critics think his approach to philosophical analyses clashes with apolitical ways of thinking.
    In addition to workers' councils, he also advocated for strikes among workers in order to control production from the capitalists.
    His marriage to Julia Schucht was marred by the latter's poor mental health and his subsequent imprisonment, so he turned to her sister Tatiana for companionship and her campaign to free him from jail.
    He had a falling out with fellow communist Palmiro Togliatti over his letter voicing his disapproval of Leon Trotsky, which they never resolved.
    He left a mixed legacy among socialists, with speculation that he would've been expelled from the Italian Communist Party if his true views, especially his disdain for Stalin, was exposed.
    Because of the Fascist regime in Italy, his prison works couldn't see the light of the day until World War II ended.
    His 'Prison Notebooks' were written in a cryptic style to counter prison censorship.
    He grew up poor, moving around through several villages in Sardinia before finally settling in Ghilarza because of his father's financial difficulties, troubles with the police, and eventual arrest for embezzlement.
    He even had to quit school and work at various jobs until his father's release. (1898-1904)
    He suffered from various illnesses as a child, including a spine malformation that hampered his growth and left him hunchbacked.
    He was a prolific and articulate newspaper writer who wrote extensively on Turin's political and social life as co-editor of the Piedmont edition of Avanti!, the Italian Socialist Party newspaper.
    His theories contributed to the rise of cultural studies, particularly its focus on the cultural and political influence of mass media.
    He said that all humans are intellectuals in a sense that they all have intellectual and rational faculties, even though not all of them have the social function of intellectuals.
    Unlike fellow leftist intellectuals of his time, he advocated on behalf of the peasantry, which make up the majority of southern Italy's population.
    At his trial, the chief prosecutor said that the fascists must stop this 'brain' from functioning for twenty years, yet he managed to carry out an extensive study of Italian society during his imprisonment.
    During his imprisonment, his health deteriorated significantly that his teeth fell out, his digestive system collapsed, and he suffered convulsions and severe headaches, resulting in his death not long afterwards.
    He never saw his second child Giuliano.

Credit: Big Lenny

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