Explorers Emigrants Citizens: A Visual History of the Italian American Experience


·For the first time Italian-American history is seen through the collections of the Library of Congress, truly the preserver of American memory
·The book is co-authored by an Italian and an Italian-American who shared their different perspectives on a long and multi faceted history
·Over 500 images, many of them never before published, ranging from the first map ever using the name "America" to the portraits of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe ...
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·For the first time Italian-American history is seen through the collections of the Library of Congress, truly the preserver of American memory
·The book is co-authored by an Italian and an Italian-American who shared their different perspectives on a long and multi faceted history
·Over 500 images, many of them never before published, ranging from the first map ever using the name "America" to the portraits of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe fromLookmagazine
·Not the usual history book about an ethnic group, which displays only a gallery of success and accomplishments. Images from the Library of Congress show the range and diversity of Italian Americans themselves and of the lives they led in the United States
·A book for Italian Americans who cherish their heritage but also for American history enthusiasts and people interested in Italian culture who will discover many unknown contributions of Italy to American life
·2013 is the Year of Italian Culture in the United States

For this book, the authors have selected 500 images related to the rich history of Italian Americans from the Library of Congress's holdings of photographs, maps, posters, letters, films, and sound recordings. The book's narration is supported by never-before-seen images and offers a fresh and original perspective on the whole experience of Italians in America, from Columbus until today. It shows the accomplishments of well-remembered individuals such as Fiorello LaGuardia, Vince Lombardi, Martin Scorsese, but goes deeper to rediscover people like Giacomo Beltrami, who reached the sources of the Mississippi in 1823 and Joe Petrosino, the first Italian American police officer to lose his life fighting organized crime.
Through photographs of Lewis Hine and others, we see how Italians lived in slums in Eastern cities, in fields and mines in rural America; finally, we see how Italians portrayed America through the works of artists like Carlo Gentile, who photographed south-western Native Americans in the 1870's, and Athos Casarini futurist painter and illustrator forHarper's Weekly.

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE, April 2014 - W. J. Parente
Half coffee-table book, half scholarly work on the lives of Italians in the US over several centuries, this massive volume comes endorsed by Italy's current president, Giorgio Napolitano, film director Martin Scorsese, and James Billington, Librarian of Congress. . .Excellent index, well written. Highly recommended.
Library Journal
This beautiful volume compiled by Italian author Battaglio and Italian American author Osborne (Miles To Go for Freedom: Segregation and Civil Rights in the Jim Crow Years) documents the Italian American experience from Christopher Columbus's landing on these shores to the present. The photographs, along with introductory essays by scholars Antonio Canovi and Mario B. Mignone, detail the evolution of Italian American communities; like Ken Ciongoli and Jay Parini's Passage to Liberty, the book describes how the community helped shape American society. Census data shows only 11,000 Italian Americans in the country at the opening of the Civil War—few compared with their German and Irish counterparts. In the l880s, Italian neighborhoods ("little Italias") grew and became more cohesive, while displays of Italian flags and a proliferation of Italian-language publications testified to an increasing sense of pride in being Italian and Catholic. As new immigrants with limited opportunities for advancement, some of the arrivals turned to crime. Others, in California after the Gold Rush, could not afford large tracts of land so became small farmers and gained prominence in the wine industry. Ultimately Italian Americans became successful politicians, athletes, movie stars, and business people—the authors list A.P. Gianni, founder of the Bank of America, as a case in point; Martin Scorcese, who contributed a foreword to this book, is another. VERDICT This illuminating visual history best lends itself to scholarly research; it will be a valuable addition to libraries with extensive holdings on immigration.—Claude M. Ury, San Francisco
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788896408148
  • Publisher: Anniversary Books SRL
  • Publication date: 9/16/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 646,506
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 11.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Barrett Osborne is a fourth generation Italian American. A former senior writer and editor with the Library of Congress's Publishing Office, she is the author of several books on American history. Her latest book is Miles to Go for Freedom - Segregation and Civil Rights in the Jim Crow Years.

Paolo Battagliais an Italian author of illustrated history books such asUn Italiano nella Cina dei Boxer(2000) a photographic account of the Boxer rebellion in China;Frammenti di Guerra(2005) the photographic history of World War II in northern Italy, andNew York In & Out(2008) on a 1912 photographic journey to New York.

Antonio Canovihas written on Italian emigration to Northern Europe and to America in books such asAltri modenesiandPianure migranti(2009).

Mario Mignone,SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, is the founder and Director of the Centre for Italian Studies. He also founded the Association of Italian American Educators. Among his many publications are:Columbus: Meeting of Cultures(1993) andItaly Today: Facing the Challenges of the New Millennium.(2008)

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