This essay reviews two books that provide diverging views of the relationship between the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and the Soviet Union. The first book, a lengthy collection of declassified documents from the former Soviet archives, provides abundant evidence of the PCI's crucial dependence on Soviet funding. No Communist party outside the Soviet bloc depended more on Soviet funding over the years than the PCI did. Vast amounts of money flowed from Moscow into the PCI's coffers. The Italian Communists maintained their heavy reliance on Soviet funding until the early 1980s. The other book discussed here a memoir by Gianni Cervetti, a former senior PCI financial official seeks to defend the party's policy and to downplay the importance of the aid provided by Moscow. Nonetheless, even Cervetti's book makes clear, if only inadvertently, that the link with the Soviet Union helped spark the broader collapse of Marxism-Leninism as a mobilizing force.

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