Synopses & Reviews
Illustrated with 100 vintage photos of Boston's North End and the people who made it their home, this book offers a heartfelt and fascinating view of one of the last intact Italian-American neighborhoods in the United States. Written to fulfill the wish of one North End elder, "so that people will never forget us," it is the result of many years of interviews with hundreds of Italian immigrants. At the turn of the last century these individuals left their rural homeland, carrying their Old World contadino customs and beliefs, and transformed the urban ghetto of Boston into a Little Italy.
Through vivid recollections spoken in their unique village idiom, these elderly storytellers bring to life the remarkable working history of Italian- immigrant men and women, their adaptation of old traditions and village lifestyle to their new urban surroundings, their assimilation into the American way of life, and their undying loyalty to family and community.
Together, this collection of images and oral histories clearly depict what the old neighborhood was like prior to the 1980s when the progression of urban development in the North End transformed the community, and life itself, forever.
Illustrated Z99 100 vintage photos this book is a delightful and fascinating collection of oral histories from people who immigrated from Italy to Bostons North End around the turn of the last century
About the Author
grew up in an old ethnic neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut, where the constant hum of the local American Steel and Wire mill could be heard in the well-tended backyards of Italian immigrants. He returned to the ancestral villages of his grandparents while pursuing an M.A. from Syracuse University in Florence and photographed daily life in the rural villages of the south. He later became the director of the North End Senior Citizen Center in Boston, where he conducted oral-history interviews and photographed elderly Italian Americans of the North End neighborhood. He lives in Westbrook, Connecticut.
Table of Contents
(1) Preface (2) Life in the Old Country (3) The Journey to America (4) Becoming an American Citizen (5) Life in the New World (6)The Italian Woman at Work (7)The Italian Man at Work (8)The Italian Family (9) A North End Christmas (10) The Molasses Explosion (11) Sacco and Vanzetti (12) The Depression Years (13) Italian Societies (14)The Feast of San Rocco (15) Making Wine (16) The Old Ways (17) Local Politics (18) The Waterfront and the "New Boston" (19) A Neighborhood in Transition (20) Out in the Street (21) Poor Tenant, Poor Landlord (22) Going It Alone