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The Italian Americans DVD and Book Set
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Item No.: IAME653
DVD & Book

Save when you buy these together! Included in this combo; Italian Americans: A History DVD and Italian Americans: A History companion book to the PBS series. In this richly researched, beautifully designed and illustrated volume, Maria Laurino strips away stereotypes and nostalgia to tell the complicated, centuries-long story of the true Italian-American experience.
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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PBSThe Italian Americans DVD and Book Set
 
4.3

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Profound and Moving

I was profoundly moved by this program. I did not realize how badly our people were treated. My mother came here as a young child and she often told stories about the poor...Read complete review

I was profoundly moved by this program. I did not realize how badly our people were treated. My mother came here as a young child and she often told stories about the poor treatment. She was the victim of discrimination and humiliation, even by the nuns at the Catholic school she attended in upstate NY. However, I never realized to the extent they were degraded until watching this program.
On the flip side, I could identify with so many aspects of Italian culture, all of which I treasure today. Those huge family meals where sometimes there was only room to sit on the floor. I loved the joy of being together with all our relatives often, for celebrations from Christenings and high school graduations to the support and strength from the bad times and the funerals of many lost loved ones. I feel as though this was the foundation of my life and my identity and I am fiercely proud of it. Today I still share those same cultural aspects with my family when I'm visiting in Italy. Sadly, the American Italian experience is fading away and the upcoming generations will never experience what we Italian Americans were so fortunate to experience. My mother is 92 years old now, and we often remark how everyone loves Italian things now, from food, to fashion, to travel. So our private joke is "It's payback time Mom...now everybody wants to be Italian. How' bout that! We have come full circle ".
Many thanks to PBS for this beautiful representation of our heritage and for the understanding of what they went through to pave the way for our American dream. Grazie !!!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

GOOD but missed IMPORTANT POINTS !

I liked the documentary but they missed a few very important points. The overemphasis on the Mafia and how "inferior" southern italians were is overstatement; saying everything south of Rome is...Read complete review

I liked the documentary but they missed a few very important points. The overemphasis on the Mafia and how "inferior" southern italians were is overstatement; saying everything south of Rome is cultureless due to the exploitation of Spanish Bourbon Monarchy is also overstatement. Never mentioned was the "italianization of America and the world in and through FOOD ! From the city of Naples is a HIGH POINT in the culture of southern Italy not to mention that Naples CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD EATS--hence pizza (the quintinessential street food, fry shops, pastries and PASTA! Also Opera, and Neapolitan music ("O Sole Mio") is also high culture. Second, they never state how so-called "inferior" southern Italians' accomplishments in America defied that demeaning label by virtue of the unbeatable records set. What should have been explicitly stated were: The unattainable & unbeatable records by these "inferior" people:Joe Dimaggio's hitting streak 56 straight games; Vince Lombardi's miracle coaching winning the first 2 Super Bowls, and that each Super Bowl champions pay homage to him by winning the Vince Lombardo Trophy; Rocky Marciano's undefeated record, as well as other role models that attained SUPER HUMAN accomplishments in America,but was glossed over-shame They never mentioned the MOST DECORATED SOLDIER In WWII John Basilone the only Marine enlisted man to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross in World War II. WHY?? These accomplishments SCREAM how WRONG those ideas were about being "inferior" because some STILL have a condescending attitude toward Italian-Americans for that VERY REASON! So sorry you missed the opportunity to make such a salient point. Nevertheless, I still liked your film, but feel it fell short of it's true potential and you didn't realize what an opportunity you had.

Reviewed by 14 customers

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(10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Profound and Moving

By Marta

from Kingston ny

Comments about PBS The Italian Americans DVD and Book Set:

I was profoundly moved by this program. I did not realize how badly our people were treated. My mother came here as a young child and she often told stories about the poor treatment. She was the victim of discrimination and humiliation, even by the nuns at the Catholic school she attended in upstate NY. However, I never realized to the extent they were degraded until watching this program.
On the flip side, I could identify with so many aspects of Italian culture, all of which I treasure today. Those huge family meals where sometimes there was only room to sit on the floor. I loved the joy of being together with all our relatives often, for celebrations from Christenings and high school graduations to the support and strength from the bad times and the funerals of many lost loved ones. I feel as though this was the foundation of my life and my identity and I am fiercely proud of it. Today I still share those same cultural aspects with my family when I'm visiting in Italy. Sadly, the American Italian experience is fading away and the upcoming generations will never experience what we Italian Americans were so fortunate to experience. My mother is 92 years old now, and we often remark how everyone loves Italian things now, from food, to fashion, to travel. So our private joke is "It's payback time Mom...now everybody wants to be Italian. How' bout that! We have come full circle ".
Many thanks to PBS for this beautiful representation of our heritage and for the understanding of what they went through to pave the way for our American dream. Grazie !!!

(12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

GOOD but missed IMPORTANT POINTS !

By Divad el spinny

from Va Beach, VA

Comments about PBS The Italian Americans DVD and Book Set:

I liked the documentary but they missed a few very important points. The overemphasis on the Mafia and how "inferior" southern italians were is overstatement; saying everything south of Rome is cultureless due to the exploitation of Spanish Bourbon Monarchy is also overstatement. Never mentioned was the "italianization of America and the world in and through FOOD ! From the city of Naples is a HIGH POINT in the culture of southern Italy not to mention that Naples CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD EATS--hence pizza (the quintinessential street food, fry shops, pastries and PASTA! Also Opera, and Neapolitan music ("O Sole Mio") is also high culture. Second, they never state how so-called "inferior" southern Italians' accomplishments in America defied that demeaning label by virtue of the unbeatable records set. What should have been explicitly stated were: The unattainable & unbeatable records by these "inferior" people:Joe Dimaggio's hitting streak 56 straight games; Vince Lombardi's miracle coaching winning the first 2 Super Bowls, and that each Super Bowl champions pay homage to him by winning the Vince Lombardo Trophy; Rocky Marciano's undefeated record, as well as other role models that attained SUPER HUMAN accomplishments in America,but was glossed over-shame They never mentioned the MOST DECORATED SOLDIER In WWII John Basilone the only Marine enlisted man to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross in World War II. WHY?? These accomplishments SCREAM how WRONG those ideas were about being "inferior" because some STILL have a condescending attitude toward Italian-Americans for that VERY REASON! So sorry you missed the opportunity to make such a salient point. Nevertheless, I still liked your film, but feel it fell short of it's true potential and you didn't realize what an opportunity you had.

(8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Wonderful!

By Betsy

from Tuckerton, NJ

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS The Italian Americans DVD and Book Set:

I thought this program was very educational and it explained a lot of the unspoken words of my Grandparents. I had no idea of what they went through or had to endure with coming to a new country.

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Being Italian-American

By Andrea

from Albuquerque, New Mexico

Comments about PBS The Italian Americans DVD and Book Set:

Thank you so much for airing such a wonderful program. I learned a lot about my Sicilian heritage. I'm sure my Grandfather, Leone, was in one of those pictures at the turn of the Century. No mention, however, of the large Italian neighborhood on Arthur Avenue, in the Bronx.

(7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Enjoyable and informative

By GreatAunt

from NY, NY

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS The Italian Americans DVD and Book Set:

3-1/2 stars. However, like another reviewer, I was very disappointed that there was no mention of the northern Italian immigration. I was also disappointed that the South Village (Greenwich Village, NYC) wasn't included in the Italian-American enclaves. A large population of the "experience" was omitted.

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