The Fort Trumbull neighborhood in New London secured its place in history through its destruction. It will endure as a symbol of eminent domain and its excesses.
But the vanished community had another story, one so tightly held that, for years, few seemed aware of it. Those who were had little to say.
A Connecticut author’s deep dive into Fort Trumbull’s secrets has produced a remarkable surprise: For much of the 20th century, the little cluster of homes was a hive of political radicalism.
“Facing Toward the Dawn: The Italian Anarchists of New London” is unlike anything in the literature of local history. It’s the biography of a place built and sustained on shared beliefs at an extreme end of the political spectrum. The believers were militant and occasionally violent, yet somehow they managed to stay under the radar.