It was the Autumn of 1969, and Italy exploded. Across the north of the country, factory workers stormed out on strike, demanding better pay and working conditions. The slogan “We Want Everything” rang through the streets. Italy’s “Hot Autumn” had begun.
In Nanni Balestrini’s fictionalized account of the uprising, a young worker from Italy’s impoverished south arrives at Fiat’s Mirafiori factory in Torino, where he barely scrapes by with fourteen hour days of backbreaking work. His frustration is palpable, and soon he is agitating again his bosses for fun and giving himself minor injuries to win sick leave. Soon enough, he is swept up by a snowballing worker movement that leads to months of continuous strikes at Mirafiori. Eventually, the conflict bubbles out of the factory. The growing pressure having produced an inevitable crack, the streets are lined with barricades, and tear gas wafts into private homes.
Introduced by Rachel Kushner, author of the critically acclaimed The Flamethrowers, We Want Everything is an explosive account of a revolution that would clear the way for another decade of radical unrest.