The Routledge History of Italian Americans weaves a narrative of the trials and triumphs of one of the nation’s largest ethnic groups. This history, comprising original essays by leading scholars and critics, addresses themes that include the Columbian legacy, immigration, the labor movement, discrimination, anarchism, Fascism, World War II patriotism, assimilation, gender identity and popular culture. This landmark volume offers a clear and accessible overview of work in the growing academic field of Italian American Studies. Rich illustrations bring the story to life, drawing out the aspects of Italian American history and culture that make this ethnic group essential to the American experience.

chapter |14 pages


A New History for a New Millennium

part I|2 pages

Explorations and Foundations

chapter 2|12 pages

From the Pilgrim Fathers to the Founding Fathers

Italy and America

chapter 3|15 pages

When They Were Few

Italians in America, 1800–1850

chapter 4|22 pages

America’s Garibaldi

The United States and Italian Unification

part |2 pages

The Great Migration and Creating Little Italies

chapter 6|15 pages

Why Italians Left Italy

The Physics and Politics of Migration, 1870–1920

chapter 7|20 pages

The Silence of the Atlantians

Contact, Conflict, Consolidation (1880–1913)

chapter 8|11 pages

The Little Italies of the Early 1900s

From the Reports of Amy Bernardy

chapter 9|16 pages

Interpreting Little Italies

Ethnicity as an Accident of Geography

chapter 10|14 pages

Culture and Identity on the Table

Italian American Food as Social History

chapter 16|18 pages

From Margins to Vanguard to Mainstream

Italian Americans and the Labor Movement

part III|176 pages

Becoming American and Contesting America

chapter 22|15 pages

World War II Changed Everything

chapter 25|18 pages


A Riff on Italian Americans in Popular Music and Jazz

chapter 26|18 pages

Italian Americans and Cinema

chapter 28|15 pages

Italian Americans in Sport

part IV|174 pages

Postwar to Post-Ethnic?

chapter 30|11 pages

Italian Americans and Assimilation

chapter 31|17 pages

Italian Americans in the Suburbs

Transplanting Ethnicity to the Crabgrass Frontier

chapter 33|13 pages

Italian American Femininities

chapter 34|13 pages

Italian American Masculinities

chapter 35|16 pages

Fuori per Sempre

Gay and Lesbian Italian Americans Come Out

chapter 38|14 pages

The Orphanage

Encounters in Transnational Space

chapter |5 pages


The Future of Our Past