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Des sources pour une Plus Grande Guerre

Damien Accoulon
Julia Ribeiro Thomaz
Aude-Marie Lalanne Berdouticq

Partie III. Des sources textuelles : sortir du commun, retrouver l’ordinaire

Soldiers’ Writings as Sources for Studying the Great War

The Case of Sicily and Sicilian American Combatants

Claudio Staiti

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Extrait du texte

Sicily and the Great War: a recent historiographical debate

In May 1918, a few months before the end of the war, the book Sicilia in Armi was published1. For Ettore Lombardo Pellegrino, publicist and professor of Constitutional Law, author of its preface, “the heroism, sacrifice, and composure of the Sicilian soul2”, which had manifested themselves during the conflict, placed at the center of the national attention the region of Sicily and its social and economic problems which were still not completely resolved3. A few years earlier, the Sicilian political class had tried in vain to remedy delays in development, pushing the government towards the invasion of Libya (1911-1912)4. However, the hope of re-launching the Sicilian island’s economy and redirecting a part of the emigration to Africa had proved to be illusory5. Therefore, at that time, the hope was that the European war could finally bring “new men and new skills, breathable air, without selfishness, tricks of insidious coali...


PhD in Contemporary History from the University of Messina, Italy, since 2019. During his Doctoral Research (on Sicilian WWI popular writings), he has been PhD Visiting Student at Columbia University, New York. He then received a scholarship from the Centro Universitario Cattolico in Rome. His current main research interests concern Sicily, First World War and the Italian American world.

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