on June 25, 2000
I first read Richard Gambino's "Blood of My Blood" in the late 1970's. Reading this book became a voyage of discovery. The book retains its strength and mission over twenty-five years later. Being Italian-American in 21st century America is still perplexing. Gambino gives many clues and insight into the Italian-American experience.
As part of one of the largest ethnic minorities in the USA it is unsettling to have so little information about who we are. Gambino's blending of historical facts with personal stories paints a vivid picture of the Italian-American experience.
Mainstream America revels in the ethnocentricity of many ethnic groups, while Italians are still discouraged for being Italian-like. The Italian-American experience, even today, is only a footnote clouded with the mass media's laughable or fearsome images.
Though originally publishes in 1974 this books still is a beacon for those struggling to understand what it is to be Italian-American.
This is a must read for anyone interested in he Italian American experience.
on September 20, 2000
Both my parents are from a small town in Calabria. I distinctively remember growing up with the feeling that I was not 100% American or Italian. In the home, I had a traditional southern Italian upbringing that did not exist in the homes of my friends, most of whom had Italian backgrounds. Richard Gambino's mention of this condition was the first time I have ever read about it it any text. Needless to say, I identified with the many accounts of the Italian-American experience explained by Mr. Gambino.
I would recommend this book to people of any background, Italian or not. The struggles of the southern Italians, both in their own country and in their new one, is a story that many will find intriguing and inspiring.
on December 5, 2001
This book is something that all 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Italian-Americans should read. It brings an understanding of the first generation of Italian Americans to those of us who were not born or not old enough to understand the circumstances of the first generation. I am a third generation Italian American with behavior patterns and emotions I could not understand until I read this book. The book has also given me a new appreciation for my second generation parents and some of the barriers between us as I grew up.
I promise that every page of this book will either make you laugh out loud, or bring you to tears.
In short, buy it, read it, lend it to others!