Keywords: Charisma; Celebrity Politics; Social Movements; Revolution; Long 19th-Century.
Pronounced forms of personalized politics have made a resounding comeback in recent years. This has contributed to the emergence of a renewed awareness of the leadership concept in all its possible expressions, exemplified by the revival of the theme of charisma. While historians have been aimed primarily on the far right and on fascist regimes, considered a natural ground for the study of leaders, this article underlines the controversial and less known relationship between the personalization of politics and movements which fall under the umbrella of the revolutionary and radical left. At the end of the Nineteenth century, a period during which these political movements began to acquire in Europe a mass following, this relationship was very relevant. Several figures of early socialism were indeed the subject of devotion phenomena and forms of collective admiration. This introductory section and single articles aim to investigate the roots of a popularity in which politics, emotional communication, new media and celebrity appeared strongly intertwined.