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416 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 29 illus., notes, bibl., index

Gender and American Culture

Paper
ISBN  978-0-8078-7224-6
Published: February 2012

Living the Revolution

Italian Women's Resistance and Radicalism in New York City, 1880-1945

Jennifer Guglielmo


Awards & Distinctions

2011 Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize, Society for Italian Historical Studies and American Historical Association

2010 Theodore Saloutos Book Prize, Immigration and Ethnic History Society

Honorable Mention, 2010 Berkshire Conference First Book Prize

2010 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

2003 Lerner-Scott Dissertation Prize in U.S. Women's History, Organization of American Historians

Italians were the largest group of immigrants to the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, and hundreds of thousands led and participated in some of the period's most volatile labor strikes. Jennifer Guglielmo brings to life the Italian working-class women of New York and New Jersey who helped shape the vibrant radical political culture that expanded into the emerging industrial union movement. Tracing two generations of women who worked in the needle and textile trades, she explores the ways immigrant women and their American-born daughters drew on Italian traditions of protest to form new urban female networks of everyday resistance and political activism. She also shows how their commitment to revolutionary and transnational social movements diminished as they became white working-class Americans.

About the Author

Jennifer Guglielmo is associate professor of history at Smith College. She is coeditor of Are Italians White?: How Race Is Made in America.


Reviews

"Brilliantly researched. . . . [A] powerful narrative. . . . Beautifully edited, sourced, and indexed. An extraordinary book. . . . Essential. Recommended for all levels/libraries."
--Choice

"An important work about the intertwining of class, ethnicity, and gender as well as race. . . . Rich in biographical details of Italian women culled from a treasure trove of oral history, memoirs, and fascinating material from archives on both sides of the Atlantic, the book brings to life moments of collective action in defiance of powerful agencies and the subsequent marginalization of class militancy."
--American Historical Review

"Jennifer Guglielmo offers a commanding corrective to earlier images of immigrant women as weak pawns in a larger scheme of American immigrant history with this exacting study."
--Fra Noi

"This book is destined to change the way historians think about Italian American working-class women. . . . A groundbreaking, compelling, and inspiring narrative that reveals a rich history of female resistance and radicalism. . . . [An] immensely important contribution. . . . Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of feminism, radicalism, immigration, and working-class life."
--Left History

"Living the Revolution is a brilliantly argued, exhaustively researched, and beautifully written analysis. . . . The only quarrel I have with this book is that the title does not do justice to the scope and breadth of this groundbreaking narrative that sets a new standard for gender, immigration, and labor scholarship. Living the Revolution should be required reading for anyone interested in those fields."
--The Journal of American History

"A critically important addition to the field. The author is expansively original in her understanding of the subject and the accomplished integrative analysis of primary and secondary research is of the first order. . . . This work is sure to become one of the fundamental historiographical classics of our era. Guglielmo and the University of North Carolina Press must also be commended for the inclusion of so many phenomenal photographs . . . which give the nuanced narrative even more profound strength."
--Labour/Le Travail

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