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Download e-book Given Away, A Sicilian Upbringing: Winner of The Sons of Italy Literary Award, 2016

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Report Disclaimer. Related Posts. Please login to leave comment. Login Login using your social account Connect with:. Facebook Google Twitter. Lost Password? Register New Account Sign up using your social account Connect with:. And the whole family lives on an Orange-a-day diet. Marrianna describes this scene of abject poverty and violence so vividly readers experience a flashback to that era of Nazi domination in Europe, monochrome pictures with children, women and the old shivering in their thin clothes along the streets amidst an ongoing parade of Nazi forces to instill fear in the vulnerable.

During the war, Tina's life is still alternating between her family home at Christmas and her great aunt's. It's important to note that in Sicily where her family resides there are no severe bombings, but in Vittoria the bombings even occur in schools, wounding and killing children.

It's rather unfortunate that when Tina goes back home, there's no food even if the risk of having a grenade dropping on your lap is lower, but that isn't the same story in Vittoria where she's feasting on lots of porcupine sweet! As the novel goes on there's lots of tragedy and growth on the part of Tina. She's no longer the little girl we used to know, but is developing into a grown woman who has taken to writing journals Marianna keeps giving us a peek into by introducing a chapter with 'Tina's Journal' and taking a swift turn from thirdperson to first-person narrative.

I always looked forward to reading Tina's journals since they offer a fresh perspective from Marianna's No offense taken, Marianna? I hope. You look ageless in your photos. And Tina also begins to develop an interest in singing.


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Her popular songs are Let's Go and Mamma she wrote them herself. But does she have a beautiful voice? Soon Tina has to live for America where she works diligently, indulges in an entanglement with Tony romance we'd been waiting for, for ages , and whenever she gets the chance she records a track and sends it to her parents who are not faring well after Mussolini's fall. Throughout the book, themes such as love, family, responsibilities are touched on. These themes are portrayed beautifully by Marianna.

I was dazzled by the structure of this novel since the continuous flow of events were rhythmic. There's no suspense in this tale, even towards the end. There's no feeling of oh-I-want-to-see-how-this-ends. Everything was soothing and relaxing. With everything falling into place. It was like reading a memoir.

In the end, Marianna explains how each and every one of the characters' lives turned out: some were successful, others were not and for others the reproduction rate kept increasing. Villain role in this novel could be taken up by Zia Nancy who brought Tina to America and wanted to dictate every aspect of her life including rebuking her for indulging in a little binging. But I do understand her, she plays matchmaker of the family and it's hard to get a groom for a plump bride-in those times. And Uncle Gianni stops being Villain once you forget all the maltreatment inflicted on his wife.

Arch-villain would go to Hitler, though he doesn't make a physical appearance, his actions contribute to a majority of Tina's suffering. There isn't supposed to be humor in this book, but sometimes the plight of the characters sends me into gales of laughter. Take for example this excerpt, taken during the time the people of Vittoria had to evacuate their places of residence due to the appearance of American forces to rescue them from the Germans. American paratroopers were mistakenly caught in trees.

And this happens when the people were evacuating in a bunch: 'Throughout the fields hundreds of children were busy cutting up and stealing the yards of silk parachute materials from their ropes. The material would prove to be a sturdy cloth for the desperately needed clothes. A torn beige parachute created knickers, blouses, brassieres, and within days, strips from parachute portions were sported by children as new short pants.

I didn't mind the throughly informative Sicilian education. One history lesson I didn't want to doze off to shocker! Somewhere in this novel, I wasn't blind to the fact that this fiction, uh, has lots of facts in it. And Marianna, I would do a little snooping-for my own benefit, if you don't come out.

It would be good to know all these happened in real life. Well, I said I will do a short review didn't I? Chicklit Pad. Reviewing all Chicklit, Romance and Women's Fiction. Dec 09, Elizabeth Johnstone Evans rated it it was amazing Shelves: first-reads-giveaways. An amazing story about a very hard life. The hard life of many, a whole family. Born and raised during a world war. Very little food and money. Having the little they had taken away by the german soldiers.

Taking all for themselves. In a time when it was custom for children to be sent to live with relatives. Some to be raised and others to help take care of the sick and the babies. Always under hardships and sacrifices. Also a time where sickness was the hardest to deal with.

When doctors costed An amazing story about a very hard life. When doctors costed so very much to call. With limited medication and in most cases no medicine to treat their sickness. Most children are born at home. It being a luxery to have a child in a hospital. Going to America is a dream of most all of this family of sicilians. With the war at their doorsteps, always trying to hide or flee from the war was immposible. Bombs falling day and night. Most buisnesses taken over by the german soldiers or blown up in the war, leaving most jobless. Buying from the black market becomes more often then not.

Each family members story of hardships, sacrifice, triumphs, strong holds and short commings. A great story shared with articulated words to make you feel and understand all they went threw. Thanks go to Marrianna Randazzo for such a heart felt mind adventure.

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Jul 16, Y. I found this story to be a very endearing and powerful one. Although at one moment or another the story spoke of other family members, it revolved more around Tina—who was the main character. It's a story of hardships, love, and loss, but mostly of survival of a Sicilian family during the 2nd World War. Tina was the one that was ultimately given away. Though in her younger years she didn't understand it, in her teen years she came to understand the concept of 'going on vacation'.

One from which sh I found this story to be a very endearing and powerful one. One from which she wouldn't return. This was a young girl of a feebly body but a strong mind, and through even the hardest of times, she survived. I enjoyed this story. If you love inspiring stories—ones in which calamity and misery are prevailed over, you'll love this story.

Given Away by Marianna Randazzo Given Away is a wonderful novel about the strength of the human spirit. Marianna writes a compelling novel based on actual events that took place in her own family, and the descriptive details pull you into pages. What an ingenious form of writing, using family stories to instruct the reader about World War 2 history as well as give details about Sicilian culture. As I followed Little Tina's struggle to survive not only in a war torn country but in the confinemen Given Away by Marianna Randazzo Given Away is a wonderful novel about the strength of the human spirit.

As I followed Little Tina's struggle to survive not only in a war torn country but in the confinements of cultural oppression, I started to understand that the human spirit is resilient and can conquer all. Brava Marianna I can't wait to read the sequels, You have much to teach us. Sep 19, Ahmed Raza rated it liked it. Not quite the novel I was expecting - it turned out more of a biographical memoir in it's style and development.

The scattering of errors here and there that a copy-editor worth their salt should have picked up , occasionally distract the attention from what is a good read. It's something that does leave a mark on you , as you follow the growth of this young girl's life of confusion , pain and poverty who ,despite all the odds against her , wins not only your heart but keeps her own going too.


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  7. It Not quite the novel I was expecting - it turned out more of a biographical memoir in it's style and development. It's a testament to what the human body and mind can endure , and eventually overcome. Mar 05, Allison Kohn rated it it was amazing. This is an intense history of a family in Sicily during the time immediately before Hitler began his mad reign of terror. It is fiction based on facts that are shocking and depressing at time without any graphic descriptions. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a well written fiction based on history.

    We are made acquainted with more than facts and it is made more real to us. View 1 comment. It's a beautiful story. View 2 comments. Sep 04, Tami Nelson rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-again , first-reads , favorites. Thank you! Thank You! Mudriga was also called St. Joseph's sawdust, made of bread crumbs and sugar. No meat was found because the holiday almost always falls during Lent. In addition to food, the alter often had an image of St. Joseph, home grown flowers, candles and palm branches. Italian immigrants utilized traditional costumes, folk songs, folklore, and dances for special events, but like many aspects of Italian life, they were so regionally specific that they defy easy characterization.

    Perhaps the most commonly recognized folk dance, the tarantella, for example, is Neapolitan, with little diffusion elsewhere in the peninsula. The difficult conditions of daily life in Italy dictated frugal eating habits. Most peasants consumed simple meals based on whatever vegetables or grains lentils, peas, fava beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, and wild greens were prevalent in each region. A staple for most common folk was coarse black bread.

    Pasta was a luxury, and peasants typically ate meat only two or three times a year on special holidays. Italian cuisine was—and still is—regionally distinctive, and even festive meals varied widely. The traditional Christmas dish in Piedmont was agnolotti ravioli , while anguille eels were served in Campania, sopa friulana celery soup in Friuli, and bovoloni fat snails in Vicenza. In the United States, many immigrants planted small backyard garden plots to supplement the table and continued to raise cows, chickens, and goats whenever possible.

    Outdoor brick ovens were commonplace, serving as clear ethnic markers of Italian residences. With improved economic conditions, pastas, meats, sugar, and coffee were consumed more frequently. One New York City immigrant remembered asking, "Who could afford to eat spaghetti more than once a week [in Italy]? In America no one starved, though a family earned no more than five or six dollars a week Don't you remember how our paesani here in America ate to their hearts delight till they were belching like pigs, and how they dumped mountains of uneaten food out the window?

    We were not poor in America; we just had a little less than others. Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield, ; p. Spaghetti and meatballs not generally known in Italy and pizza are perhaps the quintessential Italian dishes in the United States. More recently, northern Italian cooking— characterized by rice risotto and corn polenta dishes and butter-based recipes—has become increasingly common in homes and restaurants. Garlic aglio , olive oil olio d'oliva , mushrooms funghi , and nuts nochi of various types are common ingredients found in Italian cooking.

    Wine vino , consumed in moderate amounts, is a staple. Overall, Italian dishes have become so popular that they have been accepted into the nation's dietary repertoire, but not in strictly old-world forms. Americanized dishes are generally milder in their spicing and more standardized than old-world fare. A number of Italian American organizations have supported the Cooley's Anemia Foundation to fund research into Thalassemia, once thought to be a sickle cell anemia confined to persons of Mediterranean ancestry.

    Recent research has demonstrated the fallacy of this belief, however, and contributions have largely ceased. Italian is a Romance language derived directly from Latin; it utilizes the Latin alphabet, but the letters "j," "k," "w," "x," and "y" are found only in words of foreign origin. Numerous dialects were the dominant linguistic feature during the years of mass immigration. Italian dialects did not simply possess different tonalities or inflections. Some were languages in their own right, with separate vocabularies and, for a few, fully developed literatures e.

    Italy's mountainous terrain produced conditions in which proximate areas often possessed mutually unintelligible languages. Similarly, "children" in Italian is bambini, but it becomes cit in Piedomontese, fruz in Friulian, guagliuni in Neapolitan, zitedi in Calabrian, and picciriddi in Sicilian. Thus, language facilitated campanilismo, further fragmenting the emerging Italian American world. Very soon after the Italians' arrival, all dialects became infused with Americanisms, quickly creating a new form of communication often intelligible only to immigrants.

    The new patois was neither Italian nor English, and it included such words as giobba for job, grossiera for grocery, bosso for boss, marachetta for market, baccausa for outhouse, ticchetto for ticket, bisiniss for business, trocco for truck, sciabola for shovel, loffare for the verb to loaf, and carpetto for carpet. Angelo Massari, who immigrated to Tampa, Florida, in , described preparations in his Sicilian village prior to leaving it: "I used to interview people who had returned from America. I asked them thousands of questions, how America was, what they did in Tampa, what kind of work was to be had One of them told me the language was English, and I asked him how to say one word or another in that language.

    I got these wonderful samples of a Sicilian-American English from him: tu sei un boia, gud morni, olraiti, giachese, misti, sciusi, bred, iessi, bud [you are a boy, good morning, alright, jacket, mister, excuse me, bread, yes, but]. New York: Exposition Press, ; pp. Italian proverbs tend to reflect the conditions of peasant and immigrant lives: Work hard, work always, and you will never know hunger; He who leaves the old way for the new knows what he loses but knows not what he will find; Buy oxen and marry women from your village only; The wolf changes his skin but not his vice; The village is all the world; Do not miss the Saint's day, he helps you and provides at all times; Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you what you are; He who respects others will be respected.

    The family la famiglia rested at the heart of Italian society. Family solidarity was the major bulwark from which the rural population confronted a harsh society, and the family unit including blood relatives and relatives by marriage became the center of allegiances. Economically and socially, the family functioned as a collective enterprise, an "all-inclusive social world" in which the individual was subordinated to the larger entity. Parents expected children to assist them at an early age by providing gainful labor, and family values stressed respect for the elderly, obedience to parents, hard work, and deference to authority.

    The traditional Italian family was "father-headed, but mother-centered. At home, however, females exercised considerable authority as wives and mothers, and played central roles in sustaining familial networks. Still, male children occupied a favored position of superiority over females, and strong family mores governed female behavior. Women's activities were largely confined to the home, and strict rules limited their public behavior, including access to education and outside employment. Formal rituals of courting, chaperonage, and arranged marriages strictly governed relations between the sexes.

    Above all, protection of female chastity was critical to maintaining family honor. Family and kin networks also guided migration patterns, directing precise village flows to specific destinations. During sojourner migrations, the work of women in home villages sustained the family well-being in Italy and allowed male workers to actively compete in the world labor market. In America, the extended family became an important network for relatives to seek and receive assistance.

    Thus, migration and settlement operated within a context of family considerations. Attempts to transfer traditional family customs to America engendered considerable tension between generations. More educated and Americanized children ventured to bridge two worlds in which the individualist notions of American society often clashed with their parents' family-centered ethos.

    Still, strong patterns of in-marriage characterized the second generation, and many of their parents' cultural values were successfully inculcated. These carryovers resulted in a strong attachment to neighborhoods and families, consistent deference to authority, and blue-collar work choices. The second generation, however, began to adopt American practices in terms of family life seen, for example, in smaller family size and English language usage , and the collective nature of the unit began to break down as the generations advanced.

    The peasant culture placed little value on formal instruction, seeking instead to have children contribute as soon as possible to family earnings. From the peasant perspective, education consisted primarily of passing along moral and social values through parental instruction the term buon educato means "well-raised or behaved". In southern Italy, formal education was seldom a means of upward mobility since public schools were not institutions of the people. They were poorly organized and supported, administered by a distrusted northern bureaucracy, and perceived as alien to the goals of family solidarity.

    Proverbs such as "Do not let your children become better than you" spoke to these perceptions, and high rates of illiteracy testified to their power. These attitudes remained strong among immigrants in America, many of whom planned a quick repatriation and saw little reason to lose children's wages. Parents also worried about the individualist values taught in American public schools.

    The saying "America took from us our children" was a common lament. Thus, truancy rates among Italians were high, especially among girls, for whom education had always been regarded as unnecessary since tradition dictated a path of marriage, motherhood, and homemaking.

    Antagonism toward schools was derived not only from culture, but also from economic need and realistic judgments about mobility possibilities. Given the constricted employment options open to immigrants largely confined to manual, unskilled labor , and the need for family members to contribute economically, extended schooling offered few rewards.

    From the parental viewpoint, anything threatening the family's collective strength was dangerous. Generations frequently clashed over demands to terminate formal education and find work, turn over earnings, and otherwise assist the family financially in other ways. Prior to World War I, less than one percent of Italian children were enrolled in high school. As the second generation came of age in the s and s and America moved toward a service economy, however, education received greater acceptance.

    Although the children of immigrants generally remained entrenched in the working class though frequently as skilled workers , they extended their education, often attending vocational schools, and could be found among the nation's clerks, bookkeepers, managers, and sales personnel. The economic downturn occasioned by the depression resulted in increased educational opportunities for some immigrants since job prospects were limited. Italian Americans were well situated in post-World War II America to take advantage of the national expansion of secondary and higher education.

    They hastened to enroll in G. Bill programs and in the s and s began to send sons and daughters to colleges. By the s, Italian Americans averaged about 12 years of formal education; in the group slightly surpassed the national mean of Although Italian immigrants were overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, their faith was a personal, folk religion of feast days and peasant traditions that often had little to do with formal dogma or rituals.

    As such, its practices differed greatly from those encountered in America's Irish-dominated Catholic Church.

    Acculturation and Assimilation

    Unlike Irish Americans, most Italians possessed no great reverence for priests who had sometimes been among the oppressors in Italy or the institutions of the official Church, and they disliked what they regarded as the impersonal, puritanical, and overly doctrinal Irish approach to religion. As in Italy, men continued to manifest anticlerical traditions and to attend church only on selected occasions, such as weddings and funerals. For their part, the Irish clergy generally regarded Italians as indifferent Catholics—even pagans— and often relegated them to basement services.

    The Irish American hierarchy agonized over the "Italian Problem," and suspicion and mistrust initially characterized relations between the groups, leading to defections among the immigrant generation and demands for separate parishes. A disproportionately Italian Americans honor St. Amato in this Queens, New York, parade. Protestant missionaries were not unaware of these developments.

    Many attempted to win converts, but met with very little success. With the establishment of "national parishes," however, the Catholic Church hit firmer ground, and Italian parishes proliferated after In many settlements, parish churches became focal points providing a sense of ethnic identity, a range of social services, and a source of community adhesion. Italian immigrant Catholicism centered on the local patron saints and the beliefs, superstitions, and practices associated with the feste. The feste not only assisted in perpetuating local identities, but they also served as a means for public expression of immigrant faith.

    In the early years, feast days replicated those of the homeland. Festivals were occasions for great celebration, complete with music, parades, dancing, eating, and fireworks displays. At the high point, statues of local saints such as San Rocco, San Giuseppe, or San Gennaro, were carried through the streets of Little Italies in a procession. New Yorker Richard Gambino, in Blood of My Blood, recalled the feast days of his youth: "Not long ago there were many such street feste.

    Their aromas of food, the sight of burly men swaying from side to side and lurching forward under the weight of enormous statues of exotic Madonnas and saints laden with money and gifts, the music of Italian bands in uniforms with dark-peaked caps, white shirts, and black ties and the bright arches of colored lights spanning the city streets True to the spirit of campanilismo, each group of paesani in New York had its festa. Three feste were larger than the others. Sicilians, especially from the region of Agrigento, went all out for the huge September festival of San Gandolfo.

    In July, thousands turned out to honor the Madonna del Carmine. And in the fall, Neapolitans paid their respect to the patron of their mother city, San Gennaro. Worshippers lined the streets as processions moved toward the parish church, and they vied to pin money on the statue, place gifts on platforms, or make various penances walking barefoot, crawling, licking the church floor [ lingua strascinuni ], reciting certain prayers.

    Irish prelates frequently attempted to ban such events, viewing them as pagan rituals and public spectacles. A cluster of beliefs focusing on the folk world of magic, witches, ghosts, and demons further estranged Italians from the church hierarchy. Many immigrants were convinced, for example, of the existence of the evil eye malocchio or jettatura , and believed that wearing certain symbols, the most potent of which were associated with horns corni or garlic amulets, provided protection from its power.

    As the second and subsequent generations grew to maturity, most strictly old-world forms of religious observance and belief were discarded, leading to what some have called the "hibernization" of Italian American Catholicism. Many feast day celebrations remain, although, in some cases, they have been transformed into mass cultural events which draw thousands of non-Italians.

    The San Gennaro feste in Manhattan's Little Italy is a case in point: once celebrated only by Neapolitans, it now attracts heterogeneous crowds from hundreds of miles away. Throughout the years of mass migration, Italians clustered heavily in the ranks of unskilled, manual labor. In part, this seems to have resulted from cultural preference—men favored outdoor jobs dovetailing old-world skills—and immigrant strategies that sought readily available employment in order to return quickly to Italy with nest eggs. But American employers also imposed the choice of positions since many regarded Italians as unsuited for indoor work or heavy industry.

    Immigrants thus frequently engaged in seasonal work on construction sites and railroads and in mines and public works projects. Male employment often operated under the "boss system" in which countrymen padroni served as middlemen between gangs of immigrant workers and American employers. Married women generally worked at home, either concentrating on family tasks or other home-based jobs such as keeping boarders, attending to industrial homework, or assisting in family-run stores.

    In larger urban centers, unmarried women worked outside the home in garment, artificial flower, and costume jewelry factories, and in sweatshops and canneries, often laboring together in all-Italian groups. Some Little Italies were large enough to support a full economic structure of their own. In these locations, small import stores, shops, restaurants, fish merchants, and flower traders proliferated, offering opportunities for upward mobility within the ethnic enclave. In many cities, Italians dominated certain urban trades such as fruit and vegetable peddling, confectioniering, rag picking, shoe-shining, ice-cream vending, and stevedoring.

    A portion of the immigrants were skilled artisans who typically replicated their old-world crafts of shoemaking and repairing, tailoring, carpentry, and barbering. The dense concentration of Italian Americans in blue-collar occupations persisted into the second generation, deriving from deliberate career choices, attitudes toward formal education, and the economic dynamics of the nation. Italians had begun to make advances out of the unskilled ranks during the prosperous s, but many gains were overshadowed during the Great Depression. Partially in response to these conditions, Italians—both men and women—moved heavily into organized labor during the s, finding the CIO industrial unions especially attractive.

    At the same time, women were becoming a presence in service and clerical positions. The occupational choices of Italian Americans shifted radically after World War II, when structural changes in the American economy facilitated openings in more white collar occupations. Italian Americans were strategically situated to take advantage of these economic shifts, being clustered in the urban areas where economic expansion took place and ready to move into higher education.

    Since the s, Italian Americans have become solidly grounded in the middle-class, managerial, and professional ranks. As a group, by they had equalled or surpassed national averages in income and occupational prestige. Italians were slow to take part in the American political process.

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    Due to the temporary nature of early migration, few took the time to achieve naturalization in order to vote. Anti-government attitudes, exemplified in the ladro governo "the government as thief" outlook, also limited participation. Hence, Italian voters did not initially translate into political clout. Early political activity took place at the urban machine level, where immigrants typically encountered Irish Democratic bosses offering favors in return for support, but often blocking out aspiring Italian politicians.

    In such cities, those Italians seeking office frequently drifted to the Republican Party. Naturalization rates increased during the s, but the next decade was marked by a political watershed. During the s, Italian Americans joined the Democratic New Deal coalition, many becoming politically active for the first time in doing so. As a concentrated urban group with strong union ties, Italians constituted an important component of President Franklin Roosevelt's national support.

    The Democratic hold on Italians was somewhat shaken by Roosevelt's "dagger in the back" speech condemning Italy's attack on France in , but, overall, the group maintained its strong commitment to the Party. In the early s, only 17 percent of Italian Americans were registered Republicans 45 percent were registered Democrats , although many began to vote Republican in recent presidential elections.

    Overall, the group has moved from the left toward the political center. By , Italian American voter registrations were 35 percent Republican and 32 percent Democratic. The political ascent of Italian Americans came after World War II with the maturation of the second and third generations, the acquisition of increased education and greater wealth, and a higher level of acceptance by the wider society.

    Italian Americans were well-represented in city and state offices and had begun to penetrate the middle ranks of the federal government, especially the judicial system. By the s and s, there were Italian American cabinet members, governors, federal judges, and state legislators. Only four Italian Americans sat in Congress during the s, but more than 30 served in the s; in there were three U.

    The candidacy of Geraldine Ferraro for the Democratic vice presidency in , the high profile of New York governor Mario Cuomo in American political discourse, and the appointment of Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court are indicative of the group's political importance. They have been very responsive, however, to appeals for relief assistance during periodic natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes. Italians constitute such a large and diverse group that notable individuals have appeared in virtually every aspect of American life. Lorenzo Da Ponte , taught courses on Italian literature at Columbia University and sponsored the first Italian opera house in Manhattan in the s.

    Prior to becoming president of Yale University in , A. Bartlett Giamatti was a distinguished scholar of English and comparative literature. He resigned his presidency to become the commissioner of the National Baseball League. He published 14 books on various aspects of education. Amadeo P. Giannini began a store-front bank in the Italian North Beach section of San Francisco in Immediately after the earthquake he began granting loans to residents to rebuild. Later, Giannini pioneered in branch banking and in financing the early film industry. Giannini's Bank of America eventually became the largest bank in the United States.

    Iacocca left Ford after eight years to take over the ailing Chrysler Corporation, which was near bankruptcy. He rescued the company, in part through his personal television ads which made his face instantly recognizable. Frank Capra directed more than 20 feature films and won three Academy Awards for Best Director.

    His films, stamped with an upbeat optimism, became known as "Capra-corn. In addition to directing, Capra served four terms as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and three terms as president of the Screen Directors Guild. Francis Ford Coppola — earned international fame as director of The Godfather , an adaptation of Mario Puzo's best selling novel. The film won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Among numerous other films, Coppola has made two sequels to The Godfather ; the second film of this trilogy, released in , also won multiple awards, including an Academy Award for Best Picture.

    Martin Scorcese — , film director and screenwriter, directed Mean Streets , Taxi Driver , Raging Bull , and Good Fellas , among others, all of which draw from the urban, ethnic milieu of his youth. Sylvester Stallone — , actor, screenwriter, and director, has gained fame in each of these categories. He is perhaps best known as the title character in both Rocky , which won an Academy Award for Best Picture and spawned four sequels , and the Rambo series.

    Don Ameche , whose career spanned several decades, performed in vaudeville, appeared on radio serials "The Chase and Sanborn Hour" , and starred in feature films. Ernest Borgnine born Ermes Effron Borgnino, — spent his early acting career portraying villains, such as the brutal prison guard in From Here to Eternity, but captured the hearts of Americans with his sensitive portrayal of a Bronx butcher in Marty , for which he won an Academy Award. Pietro DiDonato published the classic Italian immigrant novel, Christ in Concrete, in to critical acclaim.

    He also captured the immigrant experience in later works, including Three Circles of Light and Life of Mother Cabrini Talese's Unto the Sons dealt with his own family's immigrant experience. The poetry of Lawrence Ferlinghetti — captured the essence of the Beat Generation during the s and s. John Ciardi , poet, translator, and literary critic, published over 40 books of poetry and criticism and profoundly impacted the literary world as the long-time poetry editor of the Saturday Review.

    Ciardi's translation of Dante's Divine Comedy is regarded as definitive. Novelist Mario Puzo — published two critical successes, Dark Arena and The Fortunate Pilgrim , prior to The Godfather in , which sold over ten million copies and reached vast audiences in its film adaptations. Helen Barolini — , poet, essayist, and novelist, explored the experiences of Italian-American women in her Umbertina and The Dream Book Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra , began singing with the Harry James Band in the late s, moved to the Tommy Dorsey Band, and then became America's first teenage idol in the early s, rising to stardom as a "crooner.

    Since , Sinatra has made 31 films, released at least records, and participated in numerous charity affairs. Mario Lanza was a famous tenor who appeared on radio, in concert, on recordings, and in motion pictures. Vocalist and television star Perry Como born Pierino Roland Como, — hosted one of America's most popular television shows in the s. Frank Zappa , musician, vocalist, and composer, founded the influential rock group Mothers of Invention in the s.

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    Noted for his social satire and musical inventiveness, Zappa was named Pop Musician of the Year for three years in a row in Fiorello LaGuardia gained national fame as an energetic mayor of New York City, in which capacity he served for three terms Earlier, LaGuardia sat for six terms as a Republican representative in the U. Known as "The Little Flower," LaGuardia earned a reputation as an incorruptible, hard working, and humane administrator. John O. Pastore — was the first Italian American to be elected a state governor Rhode Island, In , he represented that state in the U.

    Geraldine Ferraro — was the first American woman nominated for vice president by a major political party in when she ran with Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale. Her earlier career included service as assistant district attorney in New York and two terms in the U. Mario Cuomo — was elected governor of New York in and has been reelected twice since then.

    Prior to his election as governor, Cuomo served as lieutenant governor and New York's secretary of state. John J. Sirica , chief federal judge, U. District Court for the District of Columbia, presided over the Watergate trials. He was named Time magazine's Man of the Year in Antonin Scalia — became the first Italian American to sit on the U.

    Supreme Court when he was appointed Associate Justice in Rudolph W. Giuliani — , served for many years as U. Attorney for the southern district of New York and waged war against organized crime and public corruption. In , he was elected mayor of New York City.

    Father Eusebio Chino Kino was a Jesuit priest who worked among the native people of Mexico and Arizona for three decades, establishing more than 20 mission churches, exploring wide areas, and introducing new methods of agriculture and animal-raising. Francesca Xavier Cabrini , the first American to be sainted by the Roman Catholic Church, worked with poor Italian immigrants throughout North and South America, opening schools, orphanages, hospitals, clinics, and novitiates for her Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Enrico Fermi , a refugee from Benito Mussolini's fascist regime, is regarded as the "father of atomic energy.

    He worked with the Manhattan Project during World War II to produce the first atomic bomb, achieving the world's first self-sustaining chain reaction on December 2, Salvador Luria was a pioneer of molecular biology and genetic engineering. In , while he was a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Luria was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on viruses.

    Rita Levi-Montalcini — was awarded a Nobel Prize in for her work in cell biology and cancer research. Emilio Segre , a student of Fermi, received the Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery of the antiproton. DiMaggio set his 56 consecutive game hitting streak in The record still stands. In a career spanning to , DiMaggio led the New York Yankees to ten world championships and retired with a. At the time of his death, Vincent Lombardi was the winningest coach in professional football, and the personification of tenacity and commitment in American sports.

    As head coach of the Green Bay Packers, Lombardi led the team to numerous conference, league, and world titles during the s, including two Super Bowls in and Rocky Marciano born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, was the only undefeated heavyweight boxing champion, winning all his fights. Known as the "Brockton Bomber," Marciano won the heavyweight championship over Jersey Joe Walcott in and held it until his voluntary retirement in Rocky Graziano born Rocco Barbella, — , middleweight boxing champion, is best known for his classic bouts with Tony Zale.

    Lawrence "Yogi" Berra — , a Baseball Hall of Fame member who played for the New York Yankees as catcher for 17 years, enjoyed a career that lasted from to He also coached and managed several professional baseball teams, including the New York Mets and the Houston Astros. Joseph Garagiaola — played with the St. Louis Cardinals and several other Major League clubs. Frank Stella — pioneered the development of "minimal art," involving three-dimensional, "shaped" paintings and sculpture. His work has been exhibited in museums around the world.

    Constantino Brumidi , a political exile from the liberal revolutions of the s, became known as "the Michelangelo of the United States Capitol. Ralph Fasanella — , a self-taught primitive painter whose work has been compared to that of Grandma Moses, is grounded in his immigrant backgrounds. Since the mids, more than 2, Italian American newspapers have been established, representing a full range of ideological, religious, professional, and commercial interests. As of , about 50 newspapers were still in print. America Oggi America Today.

    Fra Noi Among Us. A monthly publication in a bilingual format by the Catholic Scalabrini order; features articles on issues primarily of interest to Chicago's Italian community.