This wide-ranging work relates the entire saga of the Italian-American experience from immigration through assimilation to achievement. The book highlights the enormous contributions that Italian Americans—the fourth largest European ethnic group in the United States—have made to the professions, politics, academy, arts, and popular culture of America. Going beyond familiar names and stories, it also captures the essence of everyday life for Italian Americans as they established communities and interacted with other ethnic groups. In this single volume, readers will be able to explore why Italians came to America, where they settled, and how their distinctive identity was formed.
A diverse array of entries that highlight the breadth of this experience, as well as the multitude of ways in which Italian Americans have influenced U.S. history and culture, are presented in five thematic sections. Featured primary documents range from a 1493 letter from Christopher Columbus announcing his discovery to excerpts from President Barack Obama’s 2011 speech to the National Italian American Foundation. Readers will come away from this book with a broader understanding of and greater appreciation for Italian Americans’ contributions to the United States.
- Hundreds of annotated entries give brief histories of the people, places, and events associated with Italian American history
- A-to-Z organization within five thematic sections facilitates ease of use
- An extensive collection of primary documents illustrates the Italian American experience over the course of American history and helps meet Common Core standards
- Sidebars and an array of illustrations bring the material to vivid life
- Each entry includes cross-references to other entries as well as a list of suggested further readings