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Terroni: All That Has Been Done to Ensure that the Italians of the South Became "Southerners" (Via Folios)

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1599540313
ISBN-10: 1599540312
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pino Aprile is a journalist and author of numerous books. Currently residing in the Castelli Romani region of Lazio, Italy, he worked for many years in Milan where he was deputy director of Gente and director of Oggi. For television, he worked with Sergio Zavoli on the investigative series Journey South and on weekly programs for RAI News1. His bestseller TERRONI: ALL THAT HAS BEEN DONE TO ENSURE THAT THE ITALIANS OF THE SOUTH BECOME "SOUTHERNERS" sold over 200,000 copies in Italy during its first year in print. A English translation is available in the US from Bordighera Press.
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Product Details

  • Series: Via Folios
  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Bordighera Press (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599540312
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599540313
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Pino Aprile's "Terroni" is one of those books that could cause a revolution, albeit a peaceful one, if read by enough people at the same time. It could become "the spark that starts the fire" by igniting a sentiment of unity among southern Italians, who are discovering that something is missing in mainstream history books informing how Italy was united 150 years ago. Aprile explains, through a series of anecdotes and historical events, how the south of Italy has ended up becoming the "minority" of the country, relegated to a backward condition with respect to the north of the nation and to the rest of Europe, when 150 years earlier, Naples was, in Aprile's account, behind only Paris and London. The book's title is a political statement. He uses the word "terroni", which is a derogatory term used by northern Italians to describe those from the south, and its root is "terra", that is, land. It can be translated generally to mean peasant, with a negative connotation. In the subtitle of the Italian edition, Aprile uses the Italian word "meridionali", which can be translated literally as "southerners", and it also has a pejorative connotation, rather than a geographical one. -- [...]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Last month I learned about a genocide I had never known of before. It happened not in an isolated unknown part of the world, but in Southern Italy, the ancestral home of members of my own family. Even more shocking to me, Southern Italians themselves are only now beginning to learn the facts of this ethnic
cleansing, in large part thanks to the books of Pino Aprile, journalist and
Southerner. Terroni: All That Has Been Done to Ensure That The Italians of The South Became “Southerners” had an electrifying effect on my friend Enzo Fina who comes from Lecce, in the heel of Italy’s boot. Enzo is half of the duo Musicàntica, the other half being Roberto Catalano, ethnomusicologist from Sicily. Based in Southern California, they keep the music and traditions of Southern Italy alive.

“You grow up knowing there’s something that isn’t right,” Roberto told me.
“You have feelings, even if unconscious,” said Enzo.

Terrone, singular, or terroni, plural, is the epithet used to describe Southerners as filthy and backwards.
When the book came out in English — though I found the translation somewhat hard to follow — I had to read it.
Read more ›
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I am italian and i read this book in italian language. I've many relatives outside Italy who left our country many years ago someone we still have in touch. Reading this book i thought at them and so i decide to send this book to a cousine of mine who once a year or two we met. I realized that They have to know why they are american and not italian. Here there are some answers : none is pleasant.
This book had in Italy a big success but he sold books not by many reviews at the beginnings from the big italian newspapers but only through other people reviews, through people by people speaches.
The reason is simply Pino Aprile wrote a book aboout the italian birth as nation whose details are not so clean and clear to italians too. At most to the italians who learned their own history from school books.
It's the italian hidden secret : the genocide of southern italians who fought against northern army with a violent and hidden civil war. They were called bandits but it was necessary over 100.000 northern army soldiers to defeat them with a so devasting violence that both the losers then the winners wanted to cancel to the generations that came after them the memory. This was the birth of the unique modern western country where still there are huge differences in the opportunities to grown to learn and to have a work between the two parts of the country the North and the South. And the reason why this differences still remain are in those lost days.
It's time italians and the generations who have italian blood ,expecially from South Italy, know who they are , why they are so and what their ,distant in time and space, relatives had ,and still have, to do to live.
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I've become interested lately in the history of southern Italy, as all of my grandparents were part of the great diaspora of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I'm trying to understand a bit more about the reasons why they were willing to amputate so much of their lives and take what must have been the terrifying step of reassembling themselves on the other side of the world in a country they didn't understand. Here I am absolutely 100% American, a member of a culture based in the southern Italian culture that my family fled and which doesn't exist anywhere but in the United States, trying to understand what it means to find pride in my own Italianness when my grandparents clearly felt they had to abandon their own.

What does it mean to be proud to be southern Italian when my grandparents were so badly treated by the place that they chose to liquidate their lives and leave it behind? Why did they feel they had to leave? How did the place get to be so neglected and disdained when it is clearly so rich in gutsy people willing to put themselves through hell to build a better life for themselves and their posterity? What is the history of the Italian south? And most crucially, how can I avoid seeing it through a lens that is over a century out of date?

This book is a vital read for anyone whose family was a part of the great migration from Italy -- not the only thing you should read, but one of a number of necessary books that will help you understand your families, why you are "here" instead of "there," the paradox of the Italian south, and where it went after our families fled.
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