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Sons of Italy® Book Club

The Sons of Italy® Book Club is dedicated to the fiction and non-fiction works of Italian American writers who focus on Italian American issues, themes and history.

Preference is given to books published by the major publishing houses (Random House, HarperCollins, Penguin Books, etc.) because such titles are widely available through bookstores nationally and on amazon.com.

Three to four titles are chose each quarter for a total of 12 to 16 titles a year. The selections are posted here and published in Italian America magazine.

We encourage all our chapters around the country to choose one or more of the books each quarter and devote part of their monthly meeting time to discuss it.

How to Order:


Click on the image to begin browsing

Winter 2015 Selections


TO AMERICA AND AROUND THE WORLD
By Adolph Caso

What was Columbus’ first voyage like, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in tiny wooden ships? Find out from the man himself in this collection of essays, which includes excerpts from his own daily logs. Here he describes the dangerous expedition and finds the natives he meets “a better race there cannot be.” The essays also refute with hard facts those historians who have attacked his character and accomplishments. One essay gives the background on how and why the United States was named for Amerigo Vespucci instead of Columbus. It also includes excerpts from Ferdinand Magellan’s logs on the first expedition to circumnavigate the earth 15 years after Columbus’ death in 1504.

 

THE ITALIAN AMERICANS
By Maria Laurino

This is not your typical coffee table book, rich in illustrations but thin on facts. Instead, journalist Laurino tells our dramatic and complex story through historical events; interviews with famous Italian Americans, including Adriana Trigiani, Gay Talese and Nancy Pelosi; and excerpts from Italian American literature – all supported by historic photographs. Readers learn details about the prejudice and discrimination we faced; the successes we earned; and the modern-day problem of stereotyping. Her book is designed to accompany a four-hour PBS series on Italian Americans that will air in February 2015. Well researched and very well told, this is a must-read!

 

THE REAL ROCKYS
By Rolando Vitale

This history of Italian Americans in boxing starts in 1900 with the arrival of millions of southern Italian men who had no experience with prize-fighting. Yet, within a generation, their sons became stars in the ring and later generations went on to set records for the most world titles and champions. How did this happen? Author Vitale traces the rise of the Italian American boxer by exploring the social and historical conditions that all Italian Americans confronted and overcame. He also includes mini-biographies of the greatest boxers beginning with the first, Sicilian-born Casper Leon, and ending with Tony De Marco, the 1955 world welterweight champion.

 

ITALIAN LOUISIANA
By Alan G. Gauthreaux

Subtitled as “history, heritage & tradition,” this slim volume by historian Gauthreaux succinctly tells the story of Italian immigrants, largely from Sicily, were “imported” to Louisiana at the end of the Civil War to replace the newly freed slaves in the rural sugarcane fields or to work as day laborers on the docks of New Orleans. Over time, they overcame poverty, disease, and even violence, including the largest mass lynching in U.S. history – to become successful and accepted.


FROM POMPEII
By Ingrid D. Rowland

Pompeii was already 900 years old when it was destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The catastrophe, which killed an estimated 16,000 people and injured thousands more, preserved the city’s homes, gardens and temples for posterity. Professor Rowland chronicles the afterlife of this Roman town by revealing how visitors over the centuries have reacted to Pompeii. They include Freud, Dickens, Mozart, and Mark Twain.

Reviewed by Dona De Sanctis