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Abstract

Italo American socialists in the 1930s found themselves in the crossfire of fascist Italy and Capitalist America, undesirable on both sides of the Atlantic. Food as represented in the Italian Language Newspaper La Stampa Libera allows a look into the assimilative pressures faced by Italo American socialists on both sides. Meat Eating in particular because of it’s ideological ties with both fascism and capitalism, became a point of contested assimilation, with the fascist majority of the Italian American community coming into meat eating with less resistance and the socialist minority with more resistance. At least until 1935 when a sudden change occurs in the relative assimilation and relative meat consumption of Italian American socialists. This sudden change reveals the biopolitical pressures under which Italian American socialist where living and its suddenness allows for some speculation on the reason for the sudden capitulation to them. Italian American Socialists, particularly women had utilized food to maintain a separate political and ethnic identity against biopolitical assimilation, their acceptance of a change in foodways reveals this capitulation.

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