Mario Soldati studied by the Jesuits and in the 1920s was acquainted with liberal intellectuals who gathered around Piero Gobetti. He wrote his first play ("Pilatus") when he was 18, and published hist first short story collection ("Salmace") in 1929. In 1935 he reached literary success with "America primo amore" (America First Love), a novel in which he transposed his diary of his stay in the U.S. between 1929 and 1931 as guest professor at the Columbia University. His life was divided between literature and movie-making. He was also a well-known scholar of English and American Literature, and authored several documentary programs for Italian State broadcaster RAI-TV.