"A compelling attempt to assess the relationships over the last century among class, culture, and community in the forging of the Italian experience in Ybor City. . . . The wide range of private and public documents, . . . the extensive use of oral testimonies, and a good mastering of anthropological and sociological tools place the book within the best vein of the new social history."--Reviews in American History
"An impressive book that has a great deal to offer those interested in the complex relationships of class and culture in the formation of communities. . . . A tour de force."--Hispanic American Historical Review
This reprint of Gary Mormino and George Pozzetta's classic, The Immigrant World of Ybor City, makes available once again the wonderful story of the vibrant community of Italians, Spaniards, and Cubans that grew up around the cigar industry in Tampa, Florida, at the dawn of the 20th century.
Focusing on the Italian experience in this multi-ethnic city, Mormino and Pozzetta explore interactions among immigrant groups--as rivals, and as friends with common concerns. As they demonstrate, the extent to which immigrant groups cooperated in Ybor City was remarkable, in large part the effect of immigrant workers' strong sense of class consciousness and solidarity.
Interweaving the themes of class, culture, and community, Mormino and Pozzetta recreate a world of cigar factories and their lectores, men who read aloud from novels, radical publications, and newspapers while the tabaqueros worked, rolling and cutting cigars. It is also a world of trolley cars, bolita peddlers, and mutual aid societies, a world where people read daily from a trilingual newspaper, La Gaceta, and spent their free time at clubhouses like El Centro Español or cantinos like L'Unione Italiana. And it is a world of turbulent strikes and chronic conflict between the "Latins" and Tampa's native "Anglos."
Drawing on newspaper articles, public and government documents, institutional and private papers, Federal Writers' Project interviews, and the authors' own interviews with hundreds of Ybor City residents, The Immigrant World of Ybor City reveals a fascinating portrait of one of America's most celebrated ethnic communities.
Gary R. Mormino, Duckwall Professor of History at the University of South Florida in Tampa, is the author of Immigrants on the Hill: Italian-Americans in St. Louis, 1882-1982.
George E. Pozzetta, who died in 1994, was professor of history at the University of Florida in Gainesville and the editor of Pane e Lavoro: The Italian American Working Class and, with David Colburn, America and the New Ethnicity.