Description : The entire Italian American experience—from America's earliest days through the present—is now available in a single volume. • 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
Description : Offers information and insights The many available scholarly works on Italian Americans are of little practical help to the undergraduate or high school student who needs background information when reading contemporary fiction with Italian characters, watching films that require a familiarity with Italian Americans, or looking at works of art that can be fully appreciated only if one understands Italian culture. This basic reference work for non-specialists and students offers quick insights and essential, easy-to-grasp information on Italian American contributions to American art, music, literature, motion pictures, and cultural life. Spotlights the uniquely Italian in American Life This rich legacy is examined in a collection of original essays that range from portrayals of Italian characters in the films of Francis Coppola to Italian American poetry, from the art of Frank Stella to the music of Frank Zappa, from a survey of Italian folk customs to an analysis of the evolutionof Italian American biography. Comprising 22 lengthy essays written specifically for this volume, the book identifies what is uniquely Italian in American life and examines how Italian customs, traditions, social mores, and cultural antecedents have wrought their influence on the American character. Filled with insights, trenchant observations, and ethnic facts and fictions, this volume is a valuable source of information for scholars, researchers, and students interested in pinpointing and examining the cultural, intellectual, and social influence of Italian immigrants and their successors. Includes an Extensive Lexicon of Important Terms This informative lexicon provides definitions of Italian terms that are central to the Italian American experience and that serve as indexes of the Italian American worldview. Whenever appropriate, the editor refers readers to a source in which the meaning of the term is more fully explored. Excerpt from a sample Lexicon entry: alfresco:adv., adj.: outdoors, literally "in the cool," meaning fresh air: an Italian phrase now used in English as in the expression "diningal fresco". Conflating the idea that Italian cuisine is admirably suited to be eaten in the open air and the image of the Mediterranean climate,al frescohas become a signifier of the pleasurable way in which Italian life is conducted. Excerpts from the book: "Madonna fully plays out the Madonna/puttana (and its darker variation, Madonna/dominatrix) identities and her own internal division between sacred and profane; when she is good she is very bad, and when she is bad, she is very good."-from "Madonna: The Postmodern Diva as Maculate Conception" by Fosca D'Acierno, "I hate the hoity-toity view of art which is pretentious, airy, and filled with moral meanings. Most critics and scholars have no direct contact with artists; they would be uncomfortable with them. They pretend to talk about works of art, but in fact they are quitedifferent from artists in personality. I have repeatedly said that the artist has more in common with the car mechanic -- getting yourself dirty -- which is why I have enormous rapport with artists."-from "Italian Catholic in My Bones: A Conversation with Camille Paglia" by Camille Paglia and Thomas J. Ferraro * "If a piece of bread falls to the floor, it should be kissed and blessed with the sign of the cross. Bread should not be wasted, nor should one pierce it with knife or fork. Bread should be one of the first items brought into a new home, and keeping at least a crust of this food staple in the cupboard warded off famine."-from "Bread and Wine in Italian-American Folk Culture" by Frances M. Malpezzi and William M. Clement
Description : The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History brings together in one two-volume set the record of the nation's values, aspirations, anxieties, and beliefs as expressed in both everyday life and formal bodies of thought. Over the past twenty years, the field of cultural history has moved to the center of American historical studies, and has come to encompass the experiences of ordinary citizens in such arenas as reading and religious practice as well as the accomplishments of prominent artists and writers. Some of the most imaginative scholarship in recent years has emerged from this burgeoning field. The scope of the volume reflects that development: the encyclopedia incorporates popular entertainment ranging from minstrel shows to video games, middlebrow ventures like Chautauqua lectures and book clubs, and preoccupations such as "Perfectionism" and "Wellness" that have shaped Americans' behavior at various points in their past and that continue to influence attitudes in the present. The volumes also make available recent scholarly insights into the writings of political scientists, philosophers, feminist theorists, social reformers, and other thinkers whose works have furnished the underpinnings of Americans' civic activities and personal concerns. Anyone wishing to understand the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of the United States from the early days of settlement to the twenty-first century will find the encyclopedia invaluable.
Description : Transcending familiar categories of "black" and "white," this volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture complicates and enriches our understanding of "southernness" by identifying the array of cultures that combined to shape the South. This exploration of southern ethnicities examines the ways people perform and maintain cultural identities through folklore, religious faith, dress, music, speech, cooking, and transgenerational tradition. Accessibly written and informed by the most recent research that recovers the ethnic diversity of the early South and documents the more recent arrival of new cultural groups, this volume greatly expands upon the modest Ethnic Life section of the original Encyclopedia. Contributors describe 88 ethnic groups that have lived in the South from the Mississippian Period (1000-1600) to the present. They include 34 American Indian groups, as well as the many communities with European, African, and Asian cultural ties that came to the region after 1600. Southerners from all backgrounds are likely to find themselves represented here.
Description : The epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality to the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism. Cotton is so ubiquitous as to be almost invisible, yet understanding its history is key to understanding the origins of modern capitalism. Sven Beckert’s rich, fascinating book tells the story of how, in a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen recast the world’s most significant manufacturing industry, combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to change the world. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in the 1780s, these men captured ancient trades and skills in Asia, and combined them with the expropriation of lands in the Americas and the enslavement of African workers to crucially reshape the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia, and how industrial capitalism gave birth to an empire, and how this force transformed the world. The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today. The result is a book as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist.