Stories, Streets, and Saints documents the history of an important Italian American neighborhood, Boston's North End, from the age of immigration at the turn of the twentieth century to the era of neighborhood upheaval in the "New Boston" of the 1980s. Drawing on years of fieldwork, on-site photography, and scholarly research, Anthony V. Riccio records, translates, and transcribes compelling oral histories of elderly Italian American storytellers who weave social history in their unique village idiom, providing an intimate look at daily life in an Italian American neighborhood. Testimonies of post-Unification southern Italy reconstruct the dire social and economic conditions that caused millions to pursue the promise of America. Rare firsthand stories of the Spanish Flu offer timely narratives in the wake of COVID-19, and eyewitness descriptions reconstruct the horrific Molasses Explosion of 1919. Riccio's own photographs from 1979 to 1983, along with images from old family albums, illustrate these oral histories, creating a lasting record of the experiences of Italian Americans, who, like many other ethnic groups, contributed mightily to the building of America.
About the Author
Anthony V. Riccio (1952-2022) was Manager of Stacks and Collections Maintenance at the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University. He was the author of several books on Italian American culture and history, including The Italian American Experience in New Haven: Images and Oral Histories; Farms, Factories, and Families: Italian American Women of Connecticut; and From Italy to the North End: Photographs, 1972-1982, and the coauthor, with Silvio Suppa, of Cooking with Chef Silvio: Stories and Authentic Recipes from Campania, all published by SUNY Press.