Bread and Respect: The Italians of Louisiana

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9781589800236: Bread and Respect: The Italians of Louisiana
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Using vignettes, family histories, and census as well as other historical records, this book examines how Italian culture shaped the lives of the immigrants to Louisiana and, in turn, how experiences in Louisiana modified the Old World values and culture the Italians brought with them.

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From the Inside Flap:

Food has always been important to the cultures of Louisiana and Italy. Similarly, hunger, both physical and metaphoric, is a strong motivation in human migration. After immigrating to America to escape the physical hunger imposed by poverty in Italy, many found they suffered still from hunger, but this time, a hunger to create the things they most longed for at home: bread, respect, fortune, security, art, justice, religion, and memory. Bread and Respect explores Italian immigrants to Louisiana, the centrality of food in their lives, and their need for respect.

Approximately 70,000 Italian immigrants arrived at the Port of New Orleans between 1898 and 1929. Louisiana became their home as the new immigrants became farmers, landowners, and merchants. Strong family bonds further protected members from the whims of nature, while cooking styles and specific dishes brought from Italy became favorites, like the muffoletta in New Orleans. There are hundreds of thousands of people of Italian descent living in Louisiana today.
Using vignettes, family histories, and census as well as other historical records, A. V. Margavio and Jerome J. Salomone examine how Italian culture shaped the lives of the immigrants to Louisiana and, in turn, how experiences in Louisiana modified the Old World values and culture the Italians brought with them.

A. V. Margavio is a professor of sociology at the University of New Orleans. Jerome J. Salomone is a professor of sociology and scholar in residence at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

From the Back Cover:

“Margavio and Salomone, both professors of sociology, have done an excellent job in depicting the gradual assimilation of Italians and their culture, from muffalettas and Roman Candy in New Orleans to Nick La Rocca’s Original Dixieland Jazz Band and the activities of the Società Italiana di Mutua Beneficenza Cefalutana. There are today hundreds of thousands of Italian Americans living in Louisiana and this book should be of interest to most of them.”
—Michael K. Smith, Louisiana Genealogical Register

Approximately 70,000 Italians arrived at the Port of New Orleans between 1898 and 1929. They became farmers, landowners, and merchants. Yet, after immigrating to America to escape the physical hunger imposed by poverty in Italy, many still found themselves starved of the very things that most defined them as Italian: fortune, security, art, justice, religion, memory, bread, and respect.

Using vignettes, family histories, census data, and other historical records, sociologists A. V. Margavio and Jerome J. Salomone provide a fascinating picture of how Italian culture shaped the lives of these immigrants. More importantly, the authors provide insight into the many ways that the immigrants’ experiences in Louisiana modified the Old World values and culture they brought with them.

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