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Danilo Dolci is the renowned "Gandhi of Sicily." Since 1952 he has conducted a nonviolent crusade against the misery and violence of Western Sicily. A Passion for Sicilians portrays his struggles against official apathy and Mafia pressure, his long series of hunger strikes to arouse the public conscience, and his calls for measures to eradicate poverty. The book also brings to life the people of Partinico, the fascinating neighbors Mangione knew on Via Emma. We meet a Mafia killer, the Cardinal of Sicily, a Sicilian princess who defies the law as she spreads the gospel of family planning, and the denizens of Palermo's infamous slums. Written in a highly engrossing style, this book is an exciting rendition of an old world groping toward new values.
Jerre Mangione is professor emeritus of American literature at the University of Pennsylvania. During his sojurn in Italy in 1965, he was a member of Dolci's staff and one of his closest confidants. Mangione is the author of nine other books.