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Published on October 02, 2019

History Students meet with alum and local author Richard Lenzi

Book cover of Facing Toward the DawnOn Wednesday, September 25, 2019, the History Department had the distinct pleasure of hosting alumnus Richard Lenzi, author of an acclaimed book on Italian anarchists in New London, published recently with SUNY Press.

Richard Lenzi, author of Facing Toward the Dawn: The Italian Anarchists of New London (Albany: SUNY Press, 2019) was raised in New Britain. He graduated high school in 1970, and became active in political movements developing an interest in labor and radical history, and systematically accumulating research on Connecticut radicalism. Lenzi worked in metalworking industries since 1971, at Pratt and Whitney for 35 years, last as a jet engine mechanic. He was a union activist for most of the time, at least on the shop floor level. Lenzi graduated with a history degree from Eastern, followed by a master’s from Trinity College. He is an independent scholar. In his book, Lenzi explores the anarchist movement in an Italian neighborhood around Fort Trumbull in New London. His microhistory of an ethnic radical group in Connecticut ties it to a larger context of migration, transnationalism, anti-fascism and labor radicalism in the United States and in Europe.

Richard LenziLenzi first presented his book at the Ethnicity/Migration seminar directed to Eastern faculty, and then met with History students. He talked both about his research and about the process of doing historical research while employed full time in a different occupation. The meeting with students was the first one this academic year in a series “What Can History Majors Do with a History Degree?”