From Wiseguys to Wise Men: The Gangster and Italian American Masculinities

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9780415946483: From Wiseguys to Wise Men: The Gangster and Italian American Masculinities
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The gangster, in the hands of the Italian American artist, becomes a telling figure in the tale of American race, gender, and ethnicity - a figure that reflects the autobiography of an immigrant group just as it reflects the fantasy of a native population.

From Wiseguys to Wise Men studies the figure of the gangster and explores its social function in the construction and projection of masculinity in the United States. By looking at the cultural icon of the gangster through the lens of gender, this book presents new insights into material that has been part of American culture for close to 100 years.

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About the Author:

Fred L. Gardaphe directs the Italian-American Studies Program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is author of Italian Signs, American Streets: The Evolution of Italian American Narrative, Leaving Little Italy: Essaying Italian American Culture, Dagoes Read: Tradition and the Italian/American Writer, and Moustache Pete is Dead!: Italian/American Oral Tradition Preserved in Print.

From Publishers Weekly:

Seeking to understand the ever-changing meaning of how Italian-American men are portrayed, Gardaphé, director of the Italian-American studies program at SUNY–Stony Brook, deconstructs the evolution of the gangster figure in American literature, film and television. He starts with a brief accounting of how gangsters came to find power and the cultural limelight during Prohibition in the 1920s and the Great Depression in the 1930s. Then, in lively prose, Gardaphé exposes how The Godfather—both the book and the movie—romanticized the gangster while creating a template of behavior for the Italian-American male. When looking at the realism in the gangster films of Martin Scorsese, Gardaphé comments that Scorsese's gangsters are "men trapped forever in an immature stage." The popularity of Francis Ford Coppola's romanticism and Scorsese's realism left the door wide open for parodies of the gangster character as seen in such books as Giose Rimanelli's Bendetta in Guysterland, with its homosexual gangsters, and Louisa Ermelino's The Sisters Mallone, which depicts women embodying the trope gangster qualities as a means, according to Gardaphé, of showing the "folly of basing masculinity on traditional macho gangster behavior." Gardaphé's ability to use criticism based on scholarly topics as well as pop culture concepts elevates this book beyond the academic. (June)
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Book Description Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The gangster, in the hands of the Italian American artist, becomes a telling figure in the tale of American race, gender, and ethnicity - a figure that reflects the autobiography of an immigrant group just as it reflects the fantasy of a native population. From Wiseguys to Wise Men studies the figure of the gangster and explores its social function in the construction and projection of masculinity in the United States. By looking at the cultural icon of the gangster through the lens of gender, this book presents new insights into material that has been part of American culture for close to 100 years. Seller Inventory # BTE9780415946483

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