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The Amazing Story of the Tonelli Family in America: Twelve Thousand Miles in a Buick in Search of Identity, Ethnicity, Geography, Kinship and Home Hardcover – May 1, 1994

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Inspired by a mail-order directory of all U.S. residents with the surname Tonelli--could anyone doubt the solicitation letter's hook that the $27.95 book was "the only one of its kind in the entire world?"--the author, a senior editor at Esquire , set out on a cross-country trip to visit his possible kinfolk to discover the qualities of what he calls the "Tonelli Nation." That nation, we learn here, stretches far beyond the Little Italy of the author's native Philadelphia to locales like the Nebraska ranchlands and the Alaskan wilds. Its "thousand or so" citizens comprise a diversity of personalities: a rock musician, a nun, a psychic, a custodian at Disney World, a radio deejay, a convict. The narrative is filled with snippets of the mostly congenial conversations from the author's meetings, including one with the president of the directory firm that started him on his trek. He also reports on his mailed survey, which served as his introduction to the hundreds of households he visited. So what's a Tonelli? Simply an American, as the author shows in his delightful report of his offbeat social experiment. Photos. First serial to Esquire and the Los Angeles Times Magazine.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Tonelli, a senior editor for Esquire, has written a charming and witty volume about his search for the American diaspora. The author describes his 60-day trip around the United States in search of "identity, ethnicity, geography, kinship, and home." For Tonelli, this search was a cathartic exploration of who he really is; it also gave him a new understanding of the meaning of family values. Tonelli vividly describes the various people with the Tonelli name that he chose to visit during his "on-the-road" odyssey, highlighting their similar and divergent interests. These visits are both personal and touching. The Tonellis he meets have assimilated into the American society by interpreting their culture in different ways. An entertaining quest; recommended for general collections.
Vicki L. Toy Smith, Univ. of Nevada, Reno
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
  • Hardcover : 264 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0201624559
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0201624557
  • Product Dimensions : 6.5 x 0.75 x 9.5 inches
  • Publisher : Addison-Wesley; First Edition (May 1, 1994)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

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Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2017