White on Arrival: Italians, Race, Color, and Power in Chicago, 1890-1945
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White on Arrival: Italians, Race, Color, and Power in Chicago, 1890-1945

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Taking the mass Italian immigration of the late 19th century as his starting point and drawing on dozens of oral histories and a diverse array of primary sources in English and Italian, Guglielmo focuses on how perceptions of Italians' race and color were shaped in one of America's great centers of immigration and labor, Chicago. His account skillfully weaves together the...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2003)
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Hotavio
White on Arrival argues that though Italian immigrants were widely seen as being on the bottom of the racial hierarchy, they still were largely accepted as white. This afforded newcomers opportunities that were not available to African Americans. Italian Americans were relatively slow to accept this as America's preoccupation with color was foreign to them, but upon seeing the benefits of being white, Italian immigrants learned to take advantage of this new status.
Gugliemo's book concentrates...more
Stella
This book raised lots of interesting questions, but I felt like overall, it was very problematic.

Guglielmo argues that all Europeans were considered "white" from the moment they got to America. Thus, the Italians were not discriminated against because they were some race other than white, they were discriminated against because they were not very good examples of white.
Soobie's heartbroken
I read it for a paper I wrote about the represetation of third-generation Italian immigrants in the US and in Australia. Really interesting. But it should have some more maps because for me it was difficult to picture all the different zones in Chicago, where Italians were living.

Good book, though.
Peter
Interesting stuff, a bit of a gentle correction of some of the excesses of the construction of whiteness ideas we've seen of late.
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