From Paesani to White Ethnics: The Italian Experience in Philadelphia

Stefano Luconi, Author
Stefano Luconi, Author State University of New York Press $29.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-7914-4858-8
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Hardcover - 264 pages - 978-0-7914-4857-1
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Stefano Luconi delivers a compelling study of 20th-century identity politics in From Paesani to White Ethnics: The Italian Experience in Philadelphia. Focusing on key historical moments (""World War I... offered... Italians and Italian Americans... a chance to construct some sense of their common... identity""), Luconi traces political and personal enactments of race relations. His incisive investigation of the mayoral tenure and many campaigns of Police Commissioner Frank L. Rizzo during the 1970s and '80s is especially astute: initially the recipient of ""trans-ethnic white support"" due to those constituents' ""dislike of racial conflict,"" Mayor Rizzo, he finds, fueled racial animosity by catering to white Philadelphians. ( Feb.)
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