Cover image for Home front soldier : the story of a G.I. and his Italian-American family during World War II
Home front soldier : the story of a G.I. and his Italian-American family during World War II
Aquila, Philip L., -1994.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Albany : State University of New York Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xi, 280 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Letters written by Philip L. Aquila to his family, addressed to his sister, Mary.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D811 .A646 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
D811 .A646 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Buffalo Collection Non-Circ

On Order



Presents a multi-layered social history of a soldier and his Italian American family during World War II.

Author Notes

Richard Aquila is Professor of History and Director of the American Studies Program at Ball State University. He is the author of The Iroquois Restoration; Wanted Dead or Alive: The American West; and That Old Time Rock and Roll.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This is a wonderful collection of 500 personal letters written by US Army Air Force Sergeant Philip L. Aquila to his family in Buffalo, NY, between 1944 and 1946. They offer a revealing look at a soldier and his family. Written while Aquila was stationed at Air Force bases in Kansas and Utah, the correspondence deals with his concerns about his new wife, aging parents, brothers and sisters, family problems, neighborhood friends, and occasional commentary about the war effort and military life. More important, the letters depict many of the significant issues and themes in American social history during the war. They offer readers fascinating glimpses of wartime GI marriages and details about ethnic history. Since the Aquilas were Italian immigrants, the letters provide insights into the role of women in Italian American families, family responses to the social and cultural crises stemming from the Depression and WW II, the impact of public education on immigrant families, and the primary importance of family loyalties and obligations. Aquila's son has written a very helpful introduction to place the correspondence within the context of the times. Complements Virginia Yans-McLaughlin's Family and Community: Italian Immigrants in Buffalo, 1890-1930 (1977). Photographs; endnotes. All levels. R. E. Marcello; University of North Texas