Tom Behan

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Tom Behan
Born(1957-06-22)22 June 1957
Died30 August 2010(2010-08-30) (aged 53)
Occupation(s)academic, writer
Known forItalian history, politics, culture
Political partyBritish Socialist Workers Party

Tom Behan (22 June 1957, in London – 30 August 2010, in Monza) was born from Irish parents. He was an academic and writer on Italian history, politics and culture. [1] [2]


Behan was an active member of the British Socialist Workers Party for over 30 years. [3] In his youth he knew the unfair widespread prejudice against the Irish and he found reading Socialist Worker newspaper what was the only thing he thought that made sense on Ireland. He didn't go to university until 1982, so was part of the first post-war youth generation to experience a society of mass youth unemployment. He had lived in Naples in the early 1980s, acquiring an excellent mastery of Italian and noticing the after-earthquake management by the camorristic groups.

By the early 1990s, when he was at the University of Reading (UK), he had collected considerable documentation on organized crime and provided advice to English TV inquiry programs “Channel 4”. After obtaining his doctorate in “Italian studies” and working for about two years in Australia, at La Trobe University of Melbourne, Behan published his first book on the subject (The Camorra, Routledge, London, 1996). He continued to alternate his academic work, first at the University of Glasgow and then in Kent, with an intense participation in global protest events.

He was a Senior Lecturer in Italian at the University of Kent at Canterbury. [4]

Author of the first political biography of Europe's leading radical playwright and winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature Dario Fo [5] and an authority on Italian organised crime. [6]

Behan died in Monza (Milan) on 30 August 2010 after a long illness and is survived by his partner, Barbara Rampoldi. [7]

Selected bibliography

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  1. Tom Behan has died
  2. Nobile, Giuseppe (4 September 2010). "Per Tom Behan" [In honor of Tom Behan]. Centro Siciliano di Documentazione "Giuseppe Impastato" - Onlus. Archived from the original on 12 December 2018.
  3. Tom Behan 1957-2010 by Chris Bambery in Socialist Worker]
  4. "Dr Tom Behan - Italian School of European Culture and Languages - University of Kent". Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  5. Tom Behan -- Dario Fo: Revolutionary Theatre
  6. "Italian organised crime: working for the mafia". Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2010. (FHM asks Mafia and Camorra expert Dr Tom Behan about the new real-life mob movie, Gomorrah, gunfights and just how bad it really is down Napoli way)
  7. Reisz, Matthew (16 September 2010). "Tom Behan, 1957-2010". Times Higher Education Supplement. Archived from the original on 17 April 2016.