Maria Antonietta Macciocchi

Maria Antonietta Macciocchi ( born July 23, 1922 in Isola del Liri, Italy, † 15 April 2007) was an Italian communist, writer and women's rights activist.


Maria Antonietta Macciocchi grew up in an anti-fascist parents house. At twenty, she joined the Italian Communist Party (PCI) in. During the war she worked in a hideout of the resistance and took part in propaganda campaigns. In 1945, she earned a degree in literature and philosophy at the University La Sapienza in Rome.

From 1950 to 1956 she headed the magazine Noi Donne, the official organ of the UDI ( Unione Donne in Italia ), the women's organization of the PCI. In 1956 she became director of the weekly newspaper Vie Nuove ( New Life ), the organ of the Communist Party of Italy and turned it into an independent magazine whose articles had not always coincide with the line of PCI. For example, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Curzio Malaparte had their say, the latter one of the first with reports of China.

In 1961 she left Vie Nuove and was foreign correspondent of L' Unita in Algiers and Paris, and conducted interviews with many leaders of the communist movement and the non-aligned countries, like Tito, Ahmed Ben Bella, Indira Gandhi and Nikita Khrushchev.

In 1968 she was nominated by the PCI for elections to the House of Representatives and won a seat in parliament.

Their critical attitude towards the party which published the French philosopher Louis Althusser later in a book, and her obvious enthusiasm of Chinese communism led them into the opposition to the Central Committee.

In 1971, after returning from a trip to China, Marie Antoinette Macciocchi published a book of 560 pages, entitled China in 1972, in which she praised China as a socialist paradise. This contrast with the official line of the party led the party it at the next general election in 1972 should not be installed again. Marie Antoinette decided to leave Italy and go to Paris, where her books were very successful. From 1972 to 1980 she was a professor of political sociology at the University of Paris VIII Vincennes and in 1977 she received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the Sorbonne University.

In the same year, she was expelled from PCI and was instead a member of the Radical Party.


  • China 1972 - economy, business and education since the Cultural Revolution ( Dalla Cina ), Berlin: Wagenbach, 1975, together with Charles Bettelheim
  • Young women, mothers, and a leader. Women in fascism, Berlin: Wagenbach 1976
  • The French Mole
  • Lettere del dall'interno P.C.I. a Louis Althusser, 1969