chapter  9
22 Pages

New Directions in Italian-American Manhood

The works examined in this chapter, in one way or another, offer new models for Italian-American manhood and suggest that it is possible for a wiseguy to become a wise man. They all start from the premise that there is a gangster figure out there that nearly everyone who sees plays or movies or reads books can recognize immediately, and that to repeat the same story of that gangster figure is to embrace stagnation. These writers create new images which, though shaped by history, extend beyond history; they take the gangster figure to a place outside history where new ideas of manhood can be proposed, explored, and realized.