cover image The Italian Americans: A History

The Italian Americans: A History

Maria Laurino. Norton, $35 (320p) ISBN 978-0-393-24129-7

Published as a companion to the PBS TV series of the same name, this work tracks the history of Italian-Americans, from the mid-19th century to the present day. While there is some general history in the book focusing on topics like immigration, assimilation, infamy, stardom, stereotypes, and naturalization, Laurino (Were You Always Italian?) uses in-depth research to focus on individual stories to tell the Italian-American story. Some spotlighted stories are well known, like those about anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia, and Frank Sinatra. But the more obscure tales have more impact, like those about Angela Bambace, one of the first union leaders, and A.P. Giannini, a banker who tried to help improve the lives of immigrants. Laurino wonderfully captures the history of Italians in America. (Dec.)