1969: The Year the Workers Shook the World


1969 was the year of the workers‘ revolt, which involved a large part of the industrialised world: from Italy to Poland, from France to the U.S.A — a revolt that questioned the unacceptable conditions in which the working classes lived.


In some countries the struggles have been little more than an isolated flare-up; in others they have paved the way for a cycle of social and political mobilisations that have changed the face of the country. This is the case in Italy, where the Workers‘ Councils were reborn.

In this book both these phenomena are described, in the awareness that the very radicality and extension of this movement – which frightened the bourgeoisie worldwide – explains why today its memory is hidden. The capitalists want to erase the memory of these struggles against exploitation.

The book therefore aims in the first place to reconstruct the memory of the struggles of ’69 as they took place on a world level, in different countries, followed by an analysis of the „Italian case“: describing the workers‘ mobilisation, interviewing the protagonists, reflecting on the characteristics that made the power of that movement possible and on the teaching from those struggles for today.

The book is therefore a contribution to the memory and understanding of the „Hot Autumn“, in the belief that gigantic revolutionary social, political and cultural process provides us with fundamental lessons in the fight against the right and liberalism.

Paolo Ferrero | transform! europe
1969: the year the workers shook the world. The contemporary significance of the Italian workers‘ struggles during the historic autunno caldo
English edition 2020 | 155 pages

Please find the eBook on the left/below (mobile version) in ‚Documents‘ (English, PDF).

Table of Contents

Chap. 1 – 1969: a worldwide phenomenon
Chap. 2 – 1969 in Italy: a revolutionary process
Chap. 3 – Some emblematic struggles
Chap. 4 – The strategy of tension
Chap. 5 – Why was 1969 such an extraordinary event, and why has it lasted over time?
Chap. 6 – 1969 is the future

A chronology of important events in the worker-student movement


The author

At the age of 18, Paolo Ferrero started working as a worker at FIAT. He has held various positions of political direction within the FIOM, the CGIL and Proletarian Democracy. He was Minister in the second Prodi Government (2006/08), National Secretary of the Communist Refoundation Party (2008/17), and is currently Vice President of the Party of the European Left.

He has written various books including PIGS, the crisis explained to everyone (Derive Approdi, 2012), The scam of public debt (Derive Approdi 2014), Marx beyond commonplaces (DeriveApprodi, 2018) and Raniero Panzieri. The initiator of the other left (Shake ed. 2021).