his provocative collection of essays adds a new dimension to our understanding of nation-building through its examination of the role of intimate cultural processes. First, by exploring the private lives of migrants from Italy through biography, oral history, and ethnography, these essays suggest why and how-across cultures-Italianness has come to be associated with a particular kind of femininity and supposedly distinctive elements of domestic life symbolized by long-held stereotypes of the Italian mother. On a larger scale, while the editors and contributors share with previous works on the Italian diaspora a keen interest in the imagining of nations across national borders, here they refocus our attention to the significance of the domestic, particularly the lives of individual men and women, their families, and the communities they loved-and left behind.
Loretta Baldass ar is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Western Australia. Donna R. Gabaccia is Director, Immigration History Research Center, Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair of Immigration History Research at the University of Minnesota.