La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience Paperback – 15 Sep 1993
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"A saga of a people, their struggles, and the triumphs in a new world, told with drama and passion....Should be read by all Americans interested in what binds us together, despite our different backgrounds and histories."--Joseph V. Scelsa, "New York Times Book Review"
Top customer reviews
I was always a bit disturbed that history classes
spoke so little about the italian influence on the
exploration of the New World. From reading this
book you get a true picture of what the italians
contributed to the early exploration of America.
My parents are both immigrants from Sicily and they
have told me a little about the trials and tribulations
they and family members went through when they first arrived.
Once I complete the book I will be sure to give
a final review of the whole story.
I want to take this opportunity to find out if the
book is printed in Italian. My parents would love
to read the story about their past experiences.
Please send me an e-mail.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I spoke our Calabrian and Neapolitan dialect fluently from childhood, cherished our culture as sacrosanct, followed our traditions - religious and culinary - with consummate fidelity and do so fervently and proudly to this day, some 110 years+ since the day my Grandpa set foot on Ellis Island in "Nova Yorka". La Storia filled in the blanks - not only undisclosed details of life there and then here, and the fundamental philosophical / religious mindset underpinning their very strict codes of morality and family, but the virtually unknown history of the Italians here [OK - so they were from north of Rome and very questionably "Italian" in our eyes, but...] in America since the Revolution. A riveting read!
That said, I must comment that the book falls flat on post-WWII history of Italian-Americans. It devotes scores of pages to barely-published poets and barely-known niche authors. It goes on and on with movie reviews. But there is no discussion of Italian-Americans in the hard sciences and medicine (Enrico Fermi has NO mention). The singer Madonna gets more print that SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia. And Italian-Americans' most pervasive contribution to US culture after WWII - cuisine - is not discussed at all.
I recommend this book. But if you skip the last third, you won't miss anything.
Many of them joined our military during WW1 and WW2. They were more American than some Americans! They were American first and Italian second. My father, Felix Caracciolo, is even mentioned in this history. He was a perfect example of an immigrant boy "making good".
La Storia captures the depth and breadth of the southern Italian migration to the United States with an honesty and beauty that no other work I have read has managed.
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