Review by Library Journal Review
This impressive reference book on a topic that is, unfortunately, too rare gives an overview of the influence Italians have had on American culture. It includes short biographies of prominent people (such as former New York governor Mario Cuomo, Robert De Niro, Camille Paglia, and Enrico Fermi); not so obvious Italian Americans (Anne Bancroft, composer Walter Piston, Bobby Darin, and Bernadette Peters); as well as those lesser known, such as novelist John Fante, Candido Jacuzzi (inventor of the high-pressure tub), Edward DeBartolo (the leading builder of shopping malls), and Amadeo Obici (the founder of Planter's peanut company). More importantly, the book contains essays on the ways in which Italian Americans changed American geography and history. There are entries describing the country's many Little Italys; on how Italian Americans changed pop music with singers such as Frank Sinatra and Madonna; and on Italians' formation of and influence on labor unions. A chapter titled "Radicalism" enumerates the many organizations in which Italians were involved--Fascist, Socialist, anti-Fascist, and anarchist; such chapters as "Population" and "Demography" offer substantial information on the immigration to and settlement of the United States. With contributions from over 150 scholars, this is a thorough, accessible reference work. Recommended for every library.--Mark Rotella, Brooklyn, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.