ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 13 21:13:07 UTC 2014

Fred Shapiro
> Google Books has what appears to be a 1951 book by Giovanni
> Engely, titled Italy Today, with the following on page 20:  "These
> intellectuals apparently ignore the fact that idea and practice of
> justice are banned from all countries under Communist rule, but
> they very well serve the cause of Communism as 'useful idiots'
> as Lenin called them."

Great match, Fred. It looks very promising. The 1948 New York Times
article with "useful idiot" (in English) was centered on Italian
politics and communism. It looks like the phrase was reassigned to
Lenin in an Italian political context by 1951. (If the citation is


The American Dialect Society -

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