“Scarpaci has done an excellent job chronicling Italian American history and all Italian Americans should be proud to own a copy of this book.”
Italians have influenced American life since the beginning of the new Republic. Thomas Jefferson adapted the classic Italian architecture of Andrea Palladio in designing his home and the University of Virginia; discussed agronomy and political philosophy with his neighbor, the Italian-trained physician and merchant Philip Mazzei; signed the Declaration of Independence along with William Paca of Maryland; and invited Italian musicians to form the first marine band in Washington D.C. Subsequently, millions of Italians have immigrated to the United States, bringing with them a distinct set of beliefs, traditions, and customs, which have been preserved and passed down through the generations.
The author takes a photographic approach towards unraveling the history and legacy of Italians and their presence in America. Examining more than four hundred unique photographs of Italian families, settlements, businesses, and celebrities, Scarpaci celebrates the ways in which this ethnic group has influenced many aspects of American life, including arts, agriculture, industry, religion, cuisine, sports, and politics. Beginning in the late 1870s, this work illustrates how the immigrants and their descendants faced the hardships, disappointments, achievements, and successes of this ongoing experience.
With photographs from settings as diverse as a canning factory in Salerno to an Italian family’s kitchen garden in Kellogg, Idaho, to Italians living in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, The Journey of the Italians in America traces the evolution of the Italian immigrant of the 1800s into today’s statesman, scholar, movie star, Supreme Court justice, or businessman. As much a history of Italian influence on America, this work is also a history of American influence on Italians, as Scarpaci makes plain through evaluating the differences among generations of Italian Americans. An enduring study of ethnicity in America, this chronicle is a timely contribution to the discourse on immigration in the United States and will certainly be appreciated and enjoyed by all Americans.