Description : Italians in Toronto provides an insightful account of how village and regional groups transplanted their communities into the city that is now one of the largest expatriate centres for Italians in the world. The history of Italian migration to Canada is the history of emigration from countless towns and villages in the Old World. John Zucchi traces how, in the New World, immigrants developed a stronger sense of Italian identity at the same time as they were being integrated into a new society.
Description : During the nineteenth century child musicians could be seen performing in the streets of cities across Europe and North America. Although they came from a number of countries, Italians were most associated with street music. In The Little Slaves of the Harp John Zucchi tells the story of the thousands of Italian children who were indentured to padrone and then uprooted from their villages in central and southern Italy and taken to Paris, London, and New York to perform as barrel-organists, harpists, violinists, fifers, pipers, and animal exhibitors.
Description : Undermining Race rewrites the history of race, immigration, and labor in the copper industry in Arizona. The book focuses on the case of Italian immigrants in their relationships with Anglo, Mexican, and Spanish miners (and at times with blacks, Asian Americans, and Native Americans), requiring a reinterpretation of the way race was formed and figured across place and time. Phylis Martinelli argues that the case of Italians in Arizona provides insight into “in between” racial and ethnic categories, demonstrating that the categorizing of Italians varied from camp to camp depending on local conditions—such as management practices in structuring labor markets and workers’ housing, and the choices made by immigrants in forging communities of language and mutual support. Italians—even light-skinned northern Italians—were not considered completely “white” in Arizona at this historical moment, yet neither were they consistently racialized as non-white, and tactics used to control them ranged from micro to macro level violence. To make her argument, Martinelli looks closely at two “white camps” in Globe and Bisbee and at the Mexican camp of Clifton-Morenci. Comparing and contrasting the placement of Italians in these three camps shows how the usual binary system of race relations became complicated, which in turn affected the existing race-based labor hierarchy, especially during strikes. The book provides additional case studies to argue that the biracial stratification system in the United States was in fact triracial at times. According to Martinelli, this system determined the nature of the associations among laborers as well as the way Americans came to construct “whiteness.”