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Giuseppe Prezzolini was born in Perugia, Italy, in 1882. A journalist, editor and well-known figure in Italy’s literary and scholarly worlds, Prezzolini co-founded the literary journal ‘Leonardo’ in 1903, and in 1908, he founded ‘La Voce’ (The Voice), a popular literary and cultural journal for which he was also the editor. In 1923, he taught in the summer session at Columbia University in New York where, in 1929, he became professor of Italian. Prezzolini taught at Columbia University for more than twenty years, and also held the post of director of Casa Italiana until 1940 when he resigned. His resignation came after after a period during which the centre was accused of propagandizing fascism, which Prezzolini and the university denied (McDowell).
Prezzolini worked with the League of Nations following the First World War. He was the first Chief of the Information Section of the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation (IIIC) from 1925 - 1930. This section sought to make the work of the IIIC known to the public on an international scale through the press; maintained ties to journalists, editors, librarians and authors from various countries; and worked with editors and other experts to investigate larger efforts to spread knowledge, particularly books. Henri Bergson, president of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC), was among his intellectual influences (Sarti, p 500).
In 1971, he received the honour of Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana.
Prezzolini wrote numerous books, essays and articles both in English and Italian throughout his lifetime up until his death in 1982 in Lugano, Switzerland, at the age of one-hundred. His many publications include: ‘L'Italiano inutile’, ‘The Legacy of Italy’, ‘Machiavelli’, ‘Il tempo della "Voce"’, and ‘Manifesto dei conservatori’.
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- “Giuseppe Prezzolini.” (n.d.). Wikipedia. Accessed 07-07-2016. www.wikipedia.org
- “Giuseppe Prezzolini (1882-1982).” (n.d.) Department of Romance Languages, University of Georgia. Accessed 07-07-2016. http://italian.uga.edu/novecento/3z.htm
- Marchione, M. (2000). ‘The Fighting Nun: My Story’ – Chapter Seven, Giuseppe Prezzolini. Cornwall Books: London, p 91.
- McDowell, E. (1982). “Giuseppe Prezzolini, 100, Author and Faculty Member at Columbia.” New York Times. Accessed 07-07-2016. http://www.nytimes.com/1982/07/17/obituaries/giuseppe-prezzolini-100-author-and-faculty-member-at-columbia.html
- Sarti, R. (2004) ‘Italy: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present’. Fact on File Inc.: New York, pp 500-501.
- UNESCO Archives AG1 IICI Index Cards, “Prezzolini, Giuseppe.”
- UNESCO Archives. “International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation. Information Section.” Authority Record accessed in AtoM Catalogue. http://atom.archives.unesco.org/institut-international-de-cooperation-intellectuelle-section-dinformation
- “Welcome Prezzolini to Summer Session.” ‘Columbia Daily Spectator’, Volume LXVII, Number 173, 11 July 1923. Accessed 07-07-2016. http://spectatorarchive.library.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/columbia?a=d&d=cs19230711-01.2.10