History, Culture, People, and IdeasEdited by Andrea Canepari and Judith Goode
Italian arts and culture have been a significant influence on Philadelphia dating back to Thomas Jefferson and colonial times. Throughout the ensuing decades, Italian art and architecture styles flourished, and wealthy Philadelphians traveled to Italy and brought back objects to display in emerging institutions of art and culture. New immigration formed neighborhoods—such as South Philly, home to the Italian Market—and Italian business leaders, politicians, artists, musicians and sports figures came to prominence and became part of the social fabric of the city.
This glorious volume, The Italian Legacy in Philadelphia, celebrates the history, impact, and legacy of this vibrant community, tracing four periods of key transformation in the city’s political, economic, and social structures. The editors and contributors chronicle the changing dynamics of the city as Italian immigrants established themselves and as they continue to have lively interactions with people and institutions in Italy.
Interdisciplinary essays, along with nearly 250 gorgeous images, explore the changing perspectives and styles of those who contributed Italian influences. As travelers to and from Italy, settlers and their descendants brought everyday cultural practices, memories, and traditions, they created different Italian-American experiences that became important parts of American culture, a legacy that is thriving in contemporary, globalized Philadelphia.
Contributors: Gilda Battaglia Rorro Baldassari, Ann Blair Brownlee, Joseph F. Chorpenning, Jeffrey A. Cohen, Lisa Colletta, Steven Conn, Carmen R. Croce, Joseph V. Del Raso, William B. Ewald, Jean M. Farnsworth, Pietro Frassica, Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto, Jeremy Goode, Alan Greenberger, Cam Grey, Albert Gury, Scott Gabriel Knowles, David Serkin Ludwig, Salvatore Mangione, Barbara J. Mitnick, Luca Molinari, Jody Pinto, Inga Saffron, Chris William Sanchirico, Fred Simeone, Jennifer A. Thompson, Paolo Valentino, William R. Valerio, Maurizio Valsania, Stephen A. Willier, Barbara A. Wolanin, and the editors
"This impressive volume is an epic undertaking that is not content to merely examine the history of the Italian legacy in Philadelphia. Much more than that, taken as a collective, the essays answer a higher calling, chronicling the everyday practices and traditions of earlier generations that have become integral parts of American culture, a legacy that thrives today in Philadelphia and beyond."
"(C)omprehensive and interdisciplinary.... (A) rewarding read and trove of information. It brings into clearer focus the breadth and complexity of Italian cultural heritage in the United States through the unique experience of Philadelphia and its residents. With its well-structured format, pleasant-to-read essays, and wealth of images, this book is of equal value and interest to scholars, students and lovers of all things Italian."
"The Italian Legacy in Philadelphia makes a fine coffee table book.... Canepari and Goode have not only helped us better understand Philadelphia’s Italian heritage, they have laid out a cultural strategy to simultaneously strengthen Italian Philadelphia and to enable this diverse city to successfully compete with other globally aspiring cities. Though the book should be of interest to planners in general, those specializing in historic preservation, urban design, neighborhood upgrading, and tourist/cultural planning will find it especially useful."
—Journal of the American Planning Association
“The Italian Legacy in Philadelphia is several things at once. It is a coffee-table book, with full-color photographs of street scenes, architecture, art, and people with ties to the Italian and Italian-American community in Philadelphia. It is an appreciation of 'Ciao Philadelphia,' an annual celebration since 2014 of the influence of Italy and Italian-Americans, sponsored in part by the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia. And, taken as a whole, it is an interesting sketch of urban ethnography of one ethnic group in one American city (albeit a large ethnic group in a major American city)."
—Journal of Urban Affairs
"The celebratory approach of these pages leads to shedding light on the positive protagonists…. Canepari himself has been active in his capacity as consul general, especially with the launch of 'Ciao Philadelphia,' a series of events held since 2014 to promote Italian culture more broadly in the city. It is precisely as part of these initiatives that the publication of The Italian Legacy in Philadelphia , with its beautiful and numerous images on glossy paper, is to be found." —Altreitalie
"(T)his informative, well-written and extremely well-illustrated volume...was a pleasure to read.... The editors and contributors chronicle, via a wide variety of inter and multi-disciplinary number (of) essays the changing dynamics of the city as different classes of Italian immigrants established themselves and exploited their deep connections to Italy for their own and the benefit of the city as whole.”
—Voices in Italian Americana
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