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Italian American : The Racializing of an Ethnic Identity - David Richards

Italian American

The Racializing of an Ethnic Identity

Hardcover Published: 1st July 1999
ISBN: 9780814775202
Number Of Pages: 288

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When southern Italians began emigrating to the U.S. in large numbers in the 1870s-part of the "new immigration" from southern and eastern rather than northern Europe-they were seen as racially inferior, what David A. J. Richards terms "nonvisibly" black.

The first study of its kind, Italian American explores the acculturation process of Italian immigrants in terms of then-current patterns of European and American racism. Delving into the political and legal context of flawed liberal nationalism both in Italy (the Risorgimento) and the United States (Reconstruction Amendments), Richards examines why Italian Americans were so reluctant to influence depictions of themselves and their own collective identity. He argues that American racism could not have had the durability or political power it has had either in the popular understanding or in the corruption of constitutional ideals unless many new immigrants, themselves often regarded as racially inferior, had been drawn into accepting and supporting many of the terms of American racism.

With its unprecedented focus on Italian American identity and an interdisciplinary approach to comparative culture and law, this timely study sheds important light on the history and contemporary importance of identity and multicultural politics in American political and constitutional debate.

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Revolutionary Constitutionalismp. 14
The Six Ingredients of American
Revolutionary Constitutionalismp. 14
Revolutionary Principlesp. 15
Constitutional Principles of the British Constitutionp. 16
Analysis of Political Pathologiesp. 17
Use of Comparative Political Sciencep. 22
American Political Experiencep. 24
American Constitutionalism as a Self-Conscious Work of Political Reasonp. 25
The Civil War Amendments as an Expression of American Revolutionary Constitutionalismp. 27
French and American Revolutionary and Constitutional Thought Comparedp. 39
Popular Sovereignty in French Constitutionalismp. 44
Rights Skepticism and the Positivistic Challenge to German Constitutionalismp. 63
Summary and Concluding Remarksp. 73
The Promise and Betrayal of Italian Revolutionary Constitutionalism: The Southern Italian Emigrationp. 76
The Risorgimento as Revolutionary Constitutionalismp. 76
American, French, and Italian Revolutionary and Constitutional Thought Comparedp. 86
Revolutionary Principlesp. 86
Constitutional Principles of the British Constitutionp. 87
Analysis of Political Pathologiesp. 91
Use of Comparative Political Sciencep. 93
Political Experiencep. 94
Constitutional Argument as a Work of Political Reasonp. 95
The Legitimation Crisis of Italian Constitutionalism: The Emigration from Southern Italyp. 97
American Liberal Nationalism and the Italian Emigrationp. 116
Racism as a Constitutional Evilp. 119
The Rationalization of Structural Injusticep. 152
The Southern Italian Emigration and American Racism, 1890-1920p. 158
Italian American Identity and American Racismp. 181
Multicultural Identity and Human Rightsp. 213
Bibliographyp. 239
Indexp. 259
About the Authorp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814775202
ISBN-10: 0814775209
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1st July 1999
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.49
Weight (kg): 0.54