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Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice (Italian and Italian American Studies) Paperback – December 21, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0230108301 ISBN-10: 023010830X Edition: First Edition (US) First Printing
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Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice (Italian and Italian American Studies) + La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience
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Editorial Reviews


"There are books that change your life ... because their content is a revelation which introduces you to a new world.  Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice is undeniably of [this] kind and it has left a deep mark on my soul.  I am sure many readers will feel the same way about it."  -Tiziano T. Dossena, L'Idea Magazine.

Recommended by the Sons of Italy National Book Club.

"Anti-Italianism ... examines the prejudices that have been directed at Italian Americans in different periods, from the lynchings of the late 1800s, ...  to the stereotypes that still today tend to associate individuals of Italian extraction with organized criminality."   -- Stefano Luconi, in Il mestiere di storico.

"...the best attempt at dealing with the subject matter comprehensively."  -- Niccolò Graffio in Magna Grece. 

"... conveys the urgency, topicality and importance of the issues at hand." -- Eleni Liarou, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.

From the Back Cover

"From its bold introduction, through its superb research on racism and intelligence testing, to its intensely challenging concluding essay, this stylish collection is by turns deeply historical ... impressively interdisciplinary, and productively combative.  United in their themes, but not outlook, the selections offer constant surprises and much food for thought."  -- David Roediger, Babcock Professor of History, University of Illinois.

"This is one of those rare books that narrate an important and forgotten story--the experience of American anti-Italianism, recounting it in a rigorous and touching manner.  Italian Americans must know this story to be aware of how painful it was for their parents and grandparents to be accepted in America.  Italians must learn it to know how painful the discrimination is that they now too often inflict on their own immigrants." -- Maurizio Viroli, Professor of Politics, Princeton University, USI, and Collegio San Paolo (Turin).

"At first blush, 'anti-Italianism' seems like a comic punch line, the premise of a Sopranos or Jersey Shore episode....  Yet behind wisecracks about gangsters and 'Guidos' there lies a complex history of pervasive exclusion and persistent stereotyping, of defiant bravado, and habitual self-deprecation... [T]he history of anti-Italian prejudice has much to tell us not only about Italian Americans but also about the past and future of America." -- James T. Campbell, Edgar E. Robinson Professor of United States History, Stanford University.

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Product Details

  • Series: Italian and Italian American Studies
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (December 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 023010830X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230108301
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,450,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Janis Cortese on December 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent look at a reality that both Italian Americans and others have denied and dismissed for so long, but that each of us lives with every day of our lives, this book is also a clarion call for Italian Americans to seize control of our own self-definition for once. We have never owned our own self-definition ever since our families have arrived in the US, occupying (along with some others including Greeks and Jews) a middle space between race and color, two categories that the color-obsessed US conflates incorrectly as identical. Our families brought with them from southern Italian villages their habitual silence in the face of authority and resignation to anything life threw at them along with their baggage, and we are dealing with that now decades later.

We need to drop that attitude and stop letting others define us as white or not depending on their own political convenience. It seems that we're white (and hence should shut up) when we want to talk about the reality of being in the middle of two categories that are supposed to be the same, and then we're wops again when gentry whites need someone to look down on who is dark enough for them to sneer at, but white enough that they won't lose their gentry standing by doing so. *sigh*

Good luck getting Italian Americans to agree to it though -- first, we'd need to agree on ANYTHING, and you'd have no better luck getting a roomful of paesans to whistle "O Sole Mio" in unison.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Peppe on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very informative volume. It includes both personal biographical pieces and analytical and objective accounts. Given the title, no one would be surprised that much of the volume is about coming to terms with many unpleasant experiences. But it would be unfair to limit the scope of the volume to complaint. It is, thnkfully, much more complex than that. The personal pieces by Gina Valle and Joanne Detore-Nakamura let us see how they coped with ethnic issues in a successful way. Susanni Tardi's piece which addresses some data about "mixed" Italian and non-Italian young people is especially informative because it seems that is the future of the Italian poplultion in the U.S.

However the two pieces that I spend most time on were Elizabeth G. Messina's article on Italians and IQ testing; and Donald Tricarico's
"Narrating Guido." If you would like to read my longer reviews, please go to my site, WARBYIQ.COM.
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Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice (Italian and Italian American Studies)
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