top_2_1.jpg top_2_2.jpg
The Italian American Experience in New Haven
Images and Oral Histories
The Italian American Experience in New Haven
Click on image to enlarge

Anthony V. Riccio - Author
Mary Ann McDonald Carolan - Foreword by
Philip Langdon - Afterword
Excelsior Editions
SUNY series in Italian/American Culture
Price: $59.95 
Hardcover - 472 pages
Release Date: July 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6773-2
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6773-2

Price: $34.95 
Paperback - 472 pages
Release Date: January 2009
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6774-9


Summary Read First Chapter image missing

A compelling social history of a vibrant immigrant community, told through interviews and photographs.

“This volume describes, both in words and in images, the physical, emotional, and spiritual sensibilities of the Italian immigrant. These stories, like the photographs that accompany them, are a fundamental part of our individual and collective experience as a nation.” — from the Foreword by Mary Ann McDonald Carolan

Using interviews and photographs, Anthony Riccio provides a vital supplement to our understanding of the Italian immigrant experience in the United States. In conversations around kitchen tables and in social clubs, members of New Haven’s Italian American community evoke the rhythms of the streets and the pulse of life in the old ethnic neighborhoods. They describe the events that shaped the twentieth century—the Spanish Flu pandemic, the Great Depression, and World War II—along with the private histories of immigrant women who toiled under terrible working conditions in New Haven’s shirt factories, who sacrificed dreams of education and careers for the economic well-being of their families. This is a compelling social, cultural, and political  history of a vibrant immigrant community.

“The integration of historic photographs with the reported interviews transforms The Italian American Experience in New Haven from just another ethnic American history into a compelling social history showcasing a vibrant, vigorous, colorful community. The result is a brilliantly written and highly recommended work that is as entertaining as it is informative.” — The Midwest Book Review

“New Haven’s history is deeply rooted in the Italian American experience and we must share this story with future generations. Anthony truly captured the history of this city. [His book] tells a unique American history through the Italian American experience. Every American should want to read it.” — Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro, 3rd District of Connecticut

“This book is addictive! Once you start from the first page, you don’t want to stop.” — Nino Magarelli, WRHU’s Ciao Italia

“…lovingly … Riccio narrates the history of New Haven through the stories and photos of the Italian-Americans who lived in and helped build the city … These are not always your stereotypical portraits of big happy Italian families, but instead, stories of the struggles Italian-Americans endured—and in several ways their stories are the stories of so many of those who immigrated to this country.” — Publishers Weekly

“This moving and informative description of Italian immigrants is a badly needed antidote to the poisonous effects of media distortions that have misled generations of Americans. ‘Bravo’ to the author, SUNY Press, and all those responsible for its production.” — Mario M. Cuomo

“Anthony Riccio’s book about Italians in New Haven is like a pot of sauce that gets bigger, bolder, and more fragrant every time a new person tosses in a favorite ingredient.” — New Haven Register

“Anthony Riccio is a natural-born storyteller. He has a real gift and leads the reader through these stories the way his grandmother led him down the path to hear her letter translated for her.” — Stephen Lassonde, author of Learning to Forget: Schooling and Family Life in New Haven’s Working Class, 1870–1940

Praise for Portrait of an Italian-American Neighborhood: The North End of Boston

“Riccio has created a work that, like the best of Studs Terkel, seeks to capture not only the stories of individual lives but the mood of a place as it changes over time.” — New Haven Register

Anthony V. Riccio is Stacks Manager at the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University. He is the author of Portrait of an Italian-American Neighborhood: The North End of Boston.

Bookmark and Share

Table of Contents

Foreword by Mary Ann McDonald

1. Life in Italy

2. The Journey to America: Life on the Ships

3. A New Life in New Haven

4. Becoming American Citizens

5. Going to School in New Haven

6. The Spanish Flu Pandemic Strikes New Haven

7. Justice Denied: The Execution of Sacco and Vanzetti

8. Letters to Loved Ones

9. Fables and Proverbs

10. Farming Life in New Haven

11. Working Life Experiences

12. New Haven’s Garment Workers: Life in the Sweatshops

13. Workers Organize: The Labor Movement in New Haven

14. Northerners and Southerners

15. Going Back to Italy

16. The Depression in New Haven

17. Witches, Healers and Herbs

18. Italian Feasts

19. Italian Societies

20. Sports Stories

21. Artists and Singers

22. Meat Markets, Pastry Shops, Bakeries and Pizzerias

23. Holiday Celebrations

24. Vanishing Dialects

25. Life by the Sea

26. New Haven’s Italian Americans in World War II

27. The Franklin Street Fire

28. Life in the Annex

29. Life in the Wooster Square Neighborhood

30. Life in the Hill

31. Life in the Forbes Avenue Neighborhood

32. Life in Fair Haven

33. Life in the Legion Avenue Neighborhood

34. Highways and Urban Renewal: New Haven Forever Changed


Afterword by Philip Langdon

Related Subjects

Related Titles

New York State and the Rise of Modern Conservatism
New York State and the Rise of Modern Conservatism
Respectability on Trial
Respectability on Trial
A Most Glorious Ride
A Most Glorious Ride
Silencing the Opposition
Silencing the Opposition
Smugglers, Bootleggers, and Scofflaws
Smugglers, Bootleggers, and Scofflaws
The Senator from New England
The Senator from New England
From Loyalists to Loyal Citizens
From Loyalists to Loyal Citizens
China and the International System, 1840-1949
China and the International System, 1840-1949
The Ecole Normale Superieure and the Third Republic
The Ecole Normale Superieure and the Third Republic
Gleanings in Europe
Gleanings in Europe