Primarily a photographic record accompanied by extensive captions and short chapter introductions, this fascinating historical account by Scarpaci (coauthor, Little Italies in North America) is divided into nine chapters, from embarkation and arrival to assimilation and ethnic resurgence. The book does not dodge contentious issues, like organized crime and the lionization of Columbus. Its many rare illustrations, including period photos, sheet music, advertisements, and document facsimiles, tell individual stories of survival, persistence, ingenuity, and community with more immediacy than any essay. Multi-paragraph captions are highly informative, even poignant, often including individual stories and direct quotations. Highly recommended for Italian and American history collections.
Savannah Schroll Guz