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Toni G, Marxist Martyr, Freedom Fighter, Culture Warrior, The Hunchback of the Italian Left
I was born on Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian), an island off the coast of Italy, and I kept it real throughout my career, representing my fellow sardi even after I'd made my way to Rome. I died in the clink in Rome, detained by Mussolini's goons. They couldn't keep me down, though, hard as they tried: I wrote my most important work, my Prison Notebooks, while locked up.
A jack of many trades—labor activist, journalist, outspoken Marxist theorist—I am most widely recognized as the author of a series of posthumously published writings called the Prison Notebooks. I penned these wide-ranging, freeform texts while in jail, addressing everything from language and politics to literature and history.
I was trained as a linguist in Sardinia before making waves in Italy's rapidly industrializing urban centers. I made the most of my long and painful imprisonment by continuing my lifelong education there, reading up on Italian history and European philosophy. This makes me an example to incarcerated autodidacts everywhere.
I make the American far left look positively conservative. That's because things were different when I was around: people still thought changing the world was possible, and not merely through Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Like all tried-and-true Marxists, I'm an atheist through and through. I mean, come on, people. Religion: the opium of the people.