This introductory chapter illustrates the precarious racial position of southern Italian immigrants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Perceived by many Americans as a swarthy, inferior race, Italian immigrants thrust themselves into an American racial hierarchy that privileged white, northern and Western European races. Within this uneasy racial climate the immigrant newspapers, such as the mainstream publications owned by community leaders—the prominenti—functioned as an institution dedicated to defending the “race.” The Italian language press itself is surprisingly the subject of minimal study, despite the evidence of a relatively high literacy rate among the immigrants, as well as the prominent circulation of its immigrant newspapers.
NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.