Cover image for La storia : five centuries of the Italian American experience
Title:
La storia : five centuries of the Italian American experience
Author:
Mangione, Jerre, 1909-1998.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First HarperPerennial edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperPerennial, 1993.

©1992
Physical Description:
xx, 508 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Italians among the colonizers -- The land they left -- Emigration fever -- The land they came to -- New roots across the nation -- Crime and prejudice -- Work, politics, and divertimenti -- Assimilation -- Old wine in new bottles, 1940-1990.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780060167783

9780060924416
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library E184.I8 M275 1993 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Fleeing poverty in the Old Country, more than five million Italians immigrated to America between 1880 and 1924--to find hardship, prejudice, and eventually, assimilation. This expansive account of the their history (enlivened by personal narratives of immigrants and their descendants) reaches from colonial times to the present, but the period of mass migration forms the heart of the story. Twenty-four pages of b&w photos. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.


Summary

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.


Author Notes

Ben Morreale, professor emeritus of history at SUNY Plattsburgh, is coauthor of "La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience." Morreae served as a consulting historian for the Arts and Entertainment program on Italian Americans.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Ben Morreale, professor emeritus of history at SUNY Plattsburgh, is coauthor of "La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience." Morreae served as a consulting historian for the Arts and Entertainment program on Italian Americans.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

In their exhaustive account of the history of Italians in America--a sort of who's who from Columbus to Cuomo--the authors examine why southern Italians left their villages en mass between 1880 and 1924 and what effect this "great migration" had on a growing America. Italy's unification did not take into account the peoples of southern Italy, and, in fact, southern Italians often did not consider themselves "Italians" at all. They left the peninsula quickly and completely, and it is noted that while Italian writers in America wrote extensively on the immigrant experience, writers in the old country did not address the subject at all. Life in America had its problems, too: discussions of "Little Italies" in cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, and New Orleans reveal how Italian immigrants were gradually perceived to be less and less hardworking and more and more criminal. In this context, the authors offer a revealing analysis of the term mafioso and how it evolved. As could be expected, a grand effort is made at relating the cultural contributions Italian immigrants and their descendants have made to American life, and how they survived and thrived in their new country. A valuable survey, especially alongside Gay Talese's more personal Unto the Sons [BKL D1 91]. ~--Kathryn Broderick


Publisher's Weekly Review

The core of this gripping, panoramic chronicle is the mass emigration of Italians to the U.S. between 1880 and 1924. Their road to assimilation was marked by hard work, family solidarity, tradition-laden weddings and joyous festivals, but also by poverty, miserable housing, dangerous working conditions and marriages that ``often seethed with tensions'' despite a public image of unity and warmth. Mangione ( Mussolini's March on Rome ) and Morreale ( A Few Virtuous Men ) trace discrimination against Italian Americans, arguing that politicians and the media fanned prejudice after WW II by resurrecting the Mafia image of the 1890s. They discuss Italian Americans' awareness or denial of their heritage, providing cameos of Sacco and Vanzetti, Fiorello LaGuardia, Frank Sinatra, Don DeLillo, John Ciardi, Francis Coppola and dozens more. Early chapters discuss Italian adventurers (such as Columbus) and Italians who fought in the American Revolution and the Civil War; a later one touches on intermarriage and divorce, which have contributed to the decline of immigrant culture. A magnificent saga that illuminates a century of accomplishment and struggle. Photos. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Since Columbus's discovery of the New World, Italians have played a vital part in shaping the Americas. La Storia (``the story'') tells of these ethnic struggles and triumphs from 1492 to the present. This is not the personal voyage recently taken by Gay Talese in Unto the Sons ( LJ 2/1/92), although La Storia is more potent and valuable because of its inclusive breadth and scope. Mangione ( Mount Allegro , Columbia Univ. Pr., 1981) and Morreale ( A Few Virtuous Men , Tundra Bks., 1973. o.p.) report on a vast array of historically important topics: from the environment that spawned the mass migration overseas to the challenge of survival in a mostly hostile new homeland to the decline of religion and the tightknit traditions currently affecting the second and third generations. Past and present names (Amerigo Vespucci, Don DeLillo) and events (colonization, labor movements) are expounded upon so that the text has solid reference value. An important complement to history or Italian collections.-- David Nudo, ``Library Journal'' (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

YA-- The richness and variety of the Italian immigrant experience in America are captured here. Portraying the journey from the harshness and poverty of rural Italy and Sicily to the teeming ghettos of New York, Boston, and other American cities, the authors tell of the five-and-a-half million Italians who made the voyage. Utilizing newspaper articles, diaries, and novels to record first-hand recollections, their stories provide a microcosm of the immigrant experience, in general, and a record of the many contributions of Italian-Americans to the cultural mosaic of the United States. A rich source of materials for understanding the multicultural experience.-- Richard Lisker, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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