Luigi Albertini (19 October 1871 – 29 December 1941) was an influential Italian newspaper editor, Member of Parliament, and historian of the First World War.

Luigi Albertini
Luigi Albertini.jpg
Luigi Albertini
Born(1871-10-19)19 October 1871
Died29 December 1941(1941-12-29) (aged 70)
Alma materUniversity of Turin

As editor of one of Italy's best-known newspapers, Corriere della Sera of Milan, he was a champion of liberalism. He was a vigorous opponent of socialism and clericalism, and of Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti who was willing to compromise with those forces. Albertini's opposition to the Fascist regime forced the owners to fire him in 1925.[1]

Albertini was an outspoken antifascist, even though at one time he did support the National Fascist Party in their opposition to the Left. From 1914 until Benito Mussolini's March on Rome in 1922, he was a member of parliament in the Italian Senate, where he was a key intellectual and moderating force.


Albertini was born in Ancona, Italy. After reading law at the University of Turin, in 1894 he moved to London, where he was foreign correspondent for La Stampa of Turin.[2] While in London he investigated labour conditions and studied the organization of The Times newspaper. In 1898 he joined the Milan newspaper, Corriere della Sera as an editorial assistant,[2] working under Eugenio Torelli Viollier and then Domenico Oliva. In the spring of 1900, Viollier died and Albertini took his position as managing editor, and a few weeks later director.[2] He also invested in the paper. He installed modern equipment and updated the paper's technical services. Under Albertini's direction, Corriere della Sera became the most widely read and respected daily paper in Italy. But, in November 1925 the paper's owners, the Crespi family, sacked him because of his public stance against the Fascist government. His last editorial[2] was included in the 29 November 1925 edition.

After that, Albertini withdrew from public life and retired to his model estate at Torre in Pietra near Rome. There, he dedicated his time to managing the estate and reclaiming land on it. He also extensively researched Italy's role in the First and Second World Wars. He wrote his memoirs[3] and had just completed his three-volume seminal work on the origins of the First World War when he died on 29 December 1941 in Rome.


Albertini's three-volume The Origins of the War of 1914[4] was his highest achievement and brought him world fame. He researched and wrote it with the assistance of Luciano Magrini, a former Corriere della Sera foreign correspondent who was skilled in German. From 1928 to 1940, Magrini interviewed many of the protagonists of the First World War. He obtained numerous documents that are reproduced in the work, which was published in Italian in 1942 and 1943.[4] It was translated into English by Isabella Massey and published by Oxford University Press in 1953.[5]

The bedrock of all discussion remains L. Albertini’s The Origins of the War of 1914… which provides a detailed chronology of the crisis and excerpts from the most important documents.

— John Keegan, author of The First World War[6]

Alberto Albertini wrote the first biography[7] of his brother, which was published in Italian in 1945. Since 1965 Ottavio Brié, formerly of the political science facility at the University of Rome, has had access to Luigi Albertini's huge correspondence, which he has edited and published. He also researched and wrote a second biography, Luigi Albertini,[8] which was published in Italian in 1972.


  1. ^ Niek Nelissen, "The Corriere della Sera and the Rise of the Italian Nationalist Association." European History Quarterly (1982) 12#2 pp: 143-165.
  2. ^ a b c d Albertini-editorial
  3. ^ Albertini (1950-53)
  4. ^ a b Albertini (1942-1943)
  5. ^ Albertini (1953)
  6. ^ Keegan, John (1999). The First World War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 450. ISBN 0-375-40052-4.
  7. ^ Albertini-A (1945)
  8. ^ Brié (1972)


  • Albertini, Alberto (1945). Vita di Luigi Albertini [The Life of Luigi Albertini]. Roma: Mondadori.
  • Albertini, Luigi (1942–1943) Le origini della guerra del 1914 (3 volumes). Fratelli Bocca, Milano
  • Albertini, Luigi (1953) Origins of the War of 1914 (3 volumes). Oxford University Press. London. Translated from Italian by Isabella Massey. Vol. I Vol. II Vol. III
  • Albertini, Luigi (2005) [Orig pub.1952–1957] Origins of the War of 1914 (3 volumes). Enigma Books. London. ISBN 1-929631-26-X New Introduction by Dr. Samuel R. Williamson. Amazon
  • Albertini, Luigi (1950–53). Venti anni di vita politica [Twenty Years in Politics: The Memoirs of Luigi Albertini]. Bologna: N. Zanichelli. OCLC 557276759.
  • Luigi Albertini's last editorial in the Corriere della Sera (translated into English)
  • Brié, Ottavio (1972) Luigi Albertini.Unione tipografica editrice torinese, Torino. (Luigi Albertini biography)

Further readingEdit

  • Devendittis, Paul (1976). Luigi Albertini: Conservative Liberalism in Thought and Practice. Review Article from European History Quarterly Vol. 6 #1 (1 January 1976) pp. 139–146 Sage Journals On Line, preview of page 1
  • Herberiches, Celesta (1967). The Corriere Della Sera and Fascism: A Chapter from Italian Press History. Article from International Communication Gazette #13 (1967) pp. 338–361 Sage Journals On Line, preview of page 1
  • Schmitt, Bernadotte E. "The Origins of the War of 1914," Journal of Modern History (1952) 24#1 pp. 69–74 in JSTOR, detailed review

External linksEdit