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Not the usual history book about an ethnic group, the book is directed to Italian Americans who cherish their heritage but also to American history enthusiasts and people interested in Italian culture who can discover many unknown contributions of Italy to American life.
For this book, the authors have selected 500 images related to the rich history of Italian Americans from the Library of Congress's holdings of photographs, maps, posters, letters, films, and sound recordings. The book's narration is supported by never-before-seen images and offers a fresh and original perspective on the whole experience of Italians in America.
It shows the accomplishments of well-known individuals such as Fiorello LaGuardia, Vince Lombardi, Martin Scorsese, and also goes deeper to rediscover people like Giacomo Beltrami, who reached the sources of the Mississippi in 1823 and Joe Petrosino, the first Italian American police officer to lose his life fighting organized crime.
Through vintage photographs we see how Italians lived in slums in Eastern cities, in fields and mines in rural America and how they portrayed America through the works of artists like Carlo Gentile, who photographed south-western Native Americans in the 1870's, and Athos Casarini, illustrator for Harper's Weekly.