In conclusion, this book argues that Communist strength in France and Italy was a pivotal threat to U.S. interests for most of the Cold War. In itself, it warranted attention and carefully crafted strategies in Washington. Seen in the context of European anti-Americanism, however, the threat transcended the confines of French and Italian politics. From the point of view of the French and Italian Communists, the challenge of a modernization process largely influenced by the United States also signified a confrontation with the inequities of capitalism. For all their failures, we must keep in mind an important aspect of the French and Italian Communists' political presence throughout the Cold War: in many respects, the two parties, with their staying power, became vehicles of social justice for the lower classes and disadvantaged groups.
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