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A Fallaci Fallacy?

February 21, 1993

In his article "Love, Death and the Written Word: The Lonely Passion of Oriana Fallaci" (Jan. 10), Douglas Foster writes that, according to what I told him in 1980, I regularly voted for the Socialist Action Party, of which my father was a member, and that I even considered running for the Italian senate on the party line. In fact, no Socialist Action Party ever existed in Italy, and I never told him such a ridiculous thing.

What I actually said was that in my early youth I belonged to the Action Party, so named after the Justice and Freedom Movement that had played an important role in the Resistance against the Nazi fascists, and of which my father was a leader. The Action Party, which dissolved in the 1950s, was a liberal party and had no connection with the Socialist Party, which still subscribed to Marxist ideology.

I told Foster that in 1976, the Socialist Party tried to seduce me with the offer of an independent candidacy in its list for the senate, and that I flatly refused. During the interview I recently gave Foster, I reminded him of that.

Foster did not want to refresh his memory, correct what he badly understood 12 years ago or learn something right about historical events that he is ignorant of. And his phrase "she is such a stickler for the truth but here she's been caught in a contradiction" is a lie that offends me deeply.


New York City

Douglas Foster replies: In writing of Fallaci's support of the Socialist Action Party, I was actually referring to the radical Action Party.

But on the subject of socialism, Fallaci did tell me in 1980: "I was kind of educated in socialism, which drove me the next step, near the Italian Socialist Party. I never became a member. But I always did give them my vote." It was this statement she contradicted in her recent speech and in our interview by insisting that she "never, never" voted socialist.

Fallaci also indicated in the 1980 interview that she had seriously considered the invitation to run as an independent on the Socialist Party slate. "I was tempted for a couple of weeks," she told me at the time, "because Alekos (Fallaci's lover, Greek dissident Alexandros Panagoulis) had just died, and I thought I could con-tinue what he had done, somehow taking his place in another parliament in another country. I would be a real troublemaker in Parliament. I would drive them crazy."

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