The journal was written almost entirely in Italian and usually consisted of no more than eight pages, and, at one point, had a claimed subscription of 5,000. Cronaca Sovversiva circulated mostly to newer immigrant and working-class Italian-Americans, particularly stonecutters, day labourers, and factory workers located in New England, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. It contained a variety of information considered essential to Italian radicals, such as arguments on the nonexistence of God, the necessity of free love, tirades against both historical and recent government tyrannies as well as ignoble and overly passive Socialists. The famous Italian-American anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti contributed to the paper on several occasions.
A frequent feature of Cronaca Sovversiva was a list of addresses and detailed relationships of businessmen, 'capitalist spies', strikebreakers, and assorted named 'enemies of the people'. Most interesting was a small advertisement in later issues that hawked a manual innocuously titled Health is in You!) for the sum of 25 cents, and described as a must-have for any proletarian family (Health Is In You! was in fact an explicit bomb-making manual).
By 1917, the US government was engaged in explicitly and openly excluding foreign anarchists entering the country, and was preparing to prosecute and deport others believed to be involved in subversive activity. Because of its advocacy of the violent overthrow of the government, as well as opposition to the US involvement in World War I the paper was forcibly shut down in July 1918. Eleven months later, after several of his followers were implicated in the mail bombings of April and June 1919, Galleani and several of the paper's editors were deported from the United States.