Cover image for Passage to liberty : the story of Italian immigration and the rebirth of America
Passage to liberty : the story of Italian immigration and the rebirth of America
Ciongoli, A. Kenneth.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : ReganBooks, [2002]

Physical Description:
32 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E184.I8 C44 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Passage to Liberty recaptures the drama of the 19th and 20th century immigration to America through photos, letters, and other artifacts -- uniquely replicated in three-dimensional facsimile form. In the tradition of Lest We Forget, Chronicle's bestselling interactive tour through the African American experience, the text uses the stories of individuals and families -- from early explorers, through the wave of 19th century impoverished families, to contemporary figures -- to recapture the rich heritage the Italian people carried with them over the waves, and planted anew in the American soil.

Among the topics covered here are:

The roots of American democracy in Roman history The migration of 15 million Italians, 1880-1920 Catholicism in Italian-American culture Food, music, and other Italian cultural traditions The Mafia: myth and reality Cultural icons: DiMaggio, Sinatra, Madonna & more

As vibrant and packed full of history as previous volumes in this extraordinary series, Passage to Liberty is a splendid and loving tribute to the Italian-American experience.

Author Notes

Jay Parini was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania in 1948. In 1970 he graduated from Lafayette College and he received a doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in 1975. Before becoming a professor of Engliah and Creative Writing at Vermont's Middlebury College in 1982, Parini taught at Dartmouth College.

Parini writes poetry, novels, biographies, and criticism, and he has published numerous reviews and essays in major journals and newspapers. He co-founded the New England Review in 1976. In 1995, he was appointed literary executor for author Gore Vidal. A film version of The Last Station, his 1990 novel, was released in 2009.

Parini's novel, One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner, made the New York Times bestseller list in 2015.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this slim though surprisingly informative illustrated homage to the Italian-American experience, Ciongoli and Parini (coeditors of Beyond the Godfather) begin their history with the history of America. While the authors mention the great Italian explorers Amerigo Vespucci, Cristoforo Colombo, Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) and Giovanni da Verrazano they focus on the Italians who, alongside George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, inspired the shaping of America: Cesar Rodney and William Paca were two Italians who signed the Declaration of Independence; Jefferson borrowed a phrase from his friend Filipo Mazzei, an Italian wine merchant and surgeon ("All men are by nature equally free and independent"). Ciongoli and Parini delve into the great wave of Italian immigration that began in the late 19th century, exploring everything from conditions in Italy to the Italian assimilation in the U.S. under such chapters as "Saints of the Immigrants" and "Little Italies." One chapter, "Hostility and Hangings," describes anti-Italian crime in the U.S., while a chapter on the Mafia explains that while "70% of [Americans in 1977] polled associated the word `Italian' with the word `crime,' " only .ooo2% of Italian-Americans have ever been members of organized crime. This handsomely composed book with color illustrations and black-and-white photos also contains pullouts of authentically replicated documents, such as an Italian prayer card, a letter from Jefferson to Mazzei and a letter from Nicola Sacco written to his family nine days before he and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved