Italian Americans

by Ben Morreale and Robert Carola

The dramatic story of the Italians in America is a story of struggle and hope, prejudice and pride, passion and perseverance. By 1930, more than 4.5 million Italians had entered the United States. Italy had only recently become a nation, and the people who came did not consider themselves Italians; they considered themselves Christians above all, and then citizens of their own villages and towns. The great migration experience brought these people of many regions and identities together and gave them for the first time a new, shared identity. They become, over time, the Italian Americans.

During the great migration and since, the Italian people have assimilated to their adopted country and been transformed by its culture. Yet, these people and their descendants have likewise left an indelible mark on America. The Italian character and sensibility are widely recognized today in the achievements of well-loved musicians such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, respected politicians such as Geraldine Ferrarro and Mario Cuomo, social reformers such as Mother Cabrini and Fiorello LaGuardia, creative businessmen such as Lee Iacocca, and talented writers such as Don DeLillo, Mario Puzo, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

The story of the Italian Americans is sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous, but always compelling and colorful. It is the story not only of the people who made the journey across the ocean, but also the story of those who inherited the many tangible riches that the immigrants brought with them. Through its lively text and more than 200 photographs, Italian Americans: The Immigrant Experience honors the first generation to come to America--and the generations of their children who were born here, who keep the traditions and spirit alive.


9 5/8 x 13 in., 240 pages
ISBN: 0-88363-126-1
$60.00 U.S.

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