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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. "An Italian ROOTS." --The Washington Post Book World At long last, Gay Talese, one of America's greatest living authors, employs his prodigious storytelling gifts to tell the saga of his own family's...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

None better for understanding Italian heritage

I loved this book. My father's cousin recommended it to me; he and my father are first generation Italian immigrants from the southern provinces. It is 600+ pages long but after getting past the first few chapters, the reader catches on to Talese's style and the book really moves much more quickly. Yes, he seems to go off on long tangents but he invariably comes back to make an important point about the history of Italy and the lives of his forefathers' families. And then his tangents are appreciated. This novel deepened my heretofore limited understanding of the history of Italy and the lives of my ancestors - those who remained behind and those who came to America. I learned more about the context of my ancestral past in those 600 pages than I had learned in over 50 years of life. I highly suggest this novel to anyone who has even a passing curiosity or interest in their ancestors who came to America from southern Italy during the early 1900's. As one other reviewer suggested, this great book could enrich your life.

Historical, Autobiographical, Anthropological Story and Excellent

I found this book fascinating the way the author interwove his family's life in Italy prior to the big wave of Italian immigration (1880-1930) and during the immigration up to WWII interesting. I had a view of a personal experience into Italian history. I know why it was a best seller when first published. I would recommend it to any adult who hasn't read it.

An epic tale

This is a sweeping epic about an Italian family. Gay Talese has a rich family history and he tell's their story (in a way it is his story) with the voice of a novelist.There are many characters who might appear uniteresting if we were to "meet them on the street," but Talese's ability to get under their skin, as it were, gives them individuality, personality and humanity. And this is the story of the characters: it is not contrived by the author--though, of course, he tailers their stories to fit HIS book.This is not a romanticized tale. Sometimes it is dark, with stern, superstitious ancestors and bleak events. Yet when it was over I felt a warmth for most of the characters in it.This is the epic of many Americans. My own ancestors had many similar experiences. My ancestors are fairly recent German and Swedish immigrants, but much of their story is the story of the Talese family. It is the story of our own individuality striving against our heritage and either coming to terms with it or rejecting it.Gay Talese has helped my understand myself in terms of my own heritage through this excellent book.

Revealing background to immigration to the USA

This magnificently written portrait of the extraordinary spirit of the Italian people, and the decision of some of them to leave Southern Italy, skillfully portrays the life and customs of small towns in pre war Calabria and New Jersey.It introduces us to many fascinating and industrious people, and their struggle in the two world wars. It also shows us to what it felt like to be an immigrant in the United States before the last war, and what it meant to see your children grow up as citizens of a country that was actively allied against your beloved homeland. It is a superb account of the role Italian people have played in the development of this country, the richness of their culture and the expertise they have brought with them.A definate "Must Read" for anyone interested in Italy and the dynamics of the USA.

Changed my life!

A beautiful tale of fathers and sons woven with the realities of immigration, war, and love.
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