Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) was an Italian Marxst philosopher, journalist, linguist, writer, and politician and a founding member and one-time leader of the Italian Communist Party. A vocal critic of Benito Mussolini and fascism, he was imprisoned in 1926 in the Roman prison Regina Coeli where he remained until his death in 1937.
During his imprisonment, Gramsci wrote more than 30 notebooks and 3,000 pages of history and analysis. His 'Prison Notebooks' are considered a highly original contribution to 20th-century political theory and account for much of his posthumous recognition.
Gramsci is best known for his theory of cultural hegemony, which describes how the state and ruling capitalist class – the bourgeosie – use cultural institutions to maintain power in capitalist societies.