A highly appealing introduction to the topic, Italian Immigrants provides a brief history of Italian Americans, their contributions to American society, and highlights of their history. After discussing the first Italian immigrants in colonial America, the book moves on to describe the first great wave of migration and the role of Italians during the American Revolution and the early republic. Through an engaging text and helpful photographs and illustrations, readers will learn how economic opportunities, family and church, and old community ties affected these Italian immigrants. This clear and nicely illustrated volume closes with an exploration of Italian Americans today, emphasizing the fight against the enduring stereotype of Italians and organized crime.
History covered includes:
- Political unification in Italy
- Major areas of settlement in the United States
- Early prejudices against Italians due to their supposed links to organized crime, the Padrone System, their Roman Catholicism, and their peasant background
- Continuing prejudices that led to quota laws
- How Italians gained a new visibility and were kept from suspicion during World War II as notable Italian-American politicians and pop culture figures emerged
- Growth of Italians’ influence in politics, academia, business, and a continued presence in art and pop culture
- An examination of reality, distortion, and the role of the media, including movies and shows such as The Godfather and The Sopranos.
20-30 black-and-white photographs and illustrations. Approximately 2 maps. Index. Bibliography. Glossary. Timeline. Further reading. Box features.
About the Author(s)
Michael Burgan holds a B.A. in history with an emphasis on American and European studies from the University of Connecticut and has studied writing, publishing, and literature at the graduate level at Emerson College. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Burgan has more than 20 years experience writing for children and young adults. He is the author of 15 books including American Immigration, Cold War, Colonial and Revolutionary Times, and The Great Depression.