In this Book

summary

An Unlikely Union tells the dramatic story of how two of America’s largest ethnic groups learned to love and laugh with each other after decades of animosity.

They came from the poorest parts of Ireland and Italy and met as rivals on the sidewalks of New York. Beginning in the nineteenth century, the Irish and Italians clashed in the Catholic Church, on the waterfront, at construction sites, and in the streets. Then they made peace through romance, marrying each other on a large scale in the years after World War II.

The vibrant cast of characters features saints such as Mother Frances X. Cabrini, who stood up to the Irish American archbishop of New York when he tried to send her back to Italy, and sinners like Al Capone, who left his Irish wife home the night he shot it out with Brooklyn’s Irish mob. The book also highlights the torrid love affair between radical labor organizers Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Carlo Tresca; the alliance between Italian American gangster Paul Kelly and Tammany’s “Big Tim” Sullivan; heroic detective Joseph Petrosino’s struggle to be accepted in the Irish-run NYPD; and the competition between Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby to become the country’s top male vocalist.

In this engaging history of the Irish and Italians, veteran New York City journalist and professor Paul Moses offers a classic American story of competition, cooperation, and resilience. At a time of renewed fear of immigrants, An Unlikely Union reminds us that Americans are able to absorb tremendous social change and conflict—and come out the better for it.
An Unlikely Union tells the dramatic story of how two of America’s largest ethnic groups learned to love and laugh with each other after decades of animosity.

They came from the poorest parts of Ireland and Italy and met as rivals on the sidewalks of New York. Beginning in the nineteenth century, the Irish and Italians clashed in the Catholic Church, on the waterfront, at construction sites, and in the streets. Then they made peace through romance, marrying each other on a large scale in the years after World War II.

The vibrant cast of characters features saints such as Mother Frances X. Cabrini, who stood up to the Irish American archbishop of New York when he tried to send her back to Italy, and sinners like Al Capone, who left his Irish wife home the night he shot it out with Brooklyn’s Irish mob. The book also highlights the torrid love affair between radical labor organizers Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Carlo Tresca; the alliance between Italian American gangster Paul Kelly and Tammany’s “Big Tim” Sullivan; heroic detective Joseph Petrosino’s struggle to be accepted in the Irish-run NYPD; and the competition between Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby to become the country’s top male vocalist.

In this engaging history of the Irish and Italians, veteran New York City journalist and professor Paul Moses offers a classic American story of competition, cooperation, and resilience. At a time of renewed fear of immigrants, An Unlikely Union reminds us that Americans are able to absorb tremendous social change and conflict—and come out the better for it.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Title, Copyright, Dedication, Epigraph
  2. pp. i-viii
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiv
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-8
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. PART I. IN THE BASEMENT: The Church as a Battleground
  1. 1. "Garibaldi and His Hordes"
  2. pp. 11-26
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 2. "The Italian Problem"
  2. pp. 27-41
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 3. Tipping Point
  2. pp. 42-55
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 4. "Race War"
  2. pp. 56-70
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. PART II. TURF WARS: Rivals in the Workplace
  1. 5. "Can't They Be Separated?"
  2. pp. 73-99
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 6. "The Other Half of Me!"
  2. pp. 100-112
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 7. Black Hand
  2. pp. 113-154
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 8. On the Waterfront
  2. pp. 155-178
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 9. White Hand
  2. pp. 179-198
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. PART III. SHARING THE STAGE: Politics and Entertainment
  1. 10. The Pols
  2. pp. 201-247
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 11. Cool
  2. pp. 248-270
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. PART IV. AT THE ALTAR: Becoming Family
  1. 12. Love Stories
  2. pp. 273-295
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 13. Food and Family
  2. pp. 296-311
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. 14. Sharing the Bastions of Power
  2. pp. 312-326
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 327-330
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 331-360
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 361-366
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. Index
  2. pp. 367-380
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents
  1. About the Author
  2. p. 381
  3. restricted access
    • Download PDF Download
    contents

Additional Information

ISBN
9781479873661
Related ISBN
9781479871308
MARC Record
OCLC
911593898
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.