La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience
From the early Italian adventurers who played an important role in the European expansion across the Atlantic to the political and business leaders of the 1990s, this book tells a dramatic story. The heart of the story is the mass migration that took place between 1880 and 1924, when a whole culture left its ancient roots to settle in the cities and towns of America.
Paperback, 560 pages
Published September 15th 1993 by Harper Perennial
(first published December 31st 1992)
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Really interesting background on why my Italian-American relatives left Italy and what their journey may have been like. I started reading it after I saw "The Golden Door" a wonderful indie about immigration -- it starts in Sicily and ends just as the protagonists are about to leave Ellis Island.
It's a shame this book is such sloppy history, because the topic is certainly interesting. But the authors put the reader on notice early on in the book with a few howlers- for example, claiming that Spartacus' revolt was due to the oppression of southern Italy by Rome (possibly they were thinking of the Social War?)- and this looseness with facts continues throughout the book. (Italian-Americans only served in the Pacific theater in WWII unless they were working with OSS? Really?) Also, both th...more
Very dense read. This book was written in 1992 and is perhaps due for an update twenty years later. Some good information, but makes broad generalizations about Italian immigrants in regards to religion, gender roles, and mental illness. But I suppose it's difficult not to make blanket statements in a book about a specific culture. Interesting stuff here, though, especially about attitudes towards the Mafia.
This is a great book for anyone with some italian blood- it tells the history if italian american from the first to ever come to the US and the famous ones...and the contributions made by all Italian Americans on our great country....
An Italian-American writer best known for his depiction of the lives of Sicilian immigrants in Rochester, New York, in the first half of the twentieth century as their customs blend and clash with those of their adopted country.More about Jerre Gerlando Mangione...