Mark I. Choate: News/Reviews   


News for Emigrant Nation: The Making of Italy Abroad

The Italian language edition, translated by Elena Sciarra, is forthcoming from Oscar Mondadori in 2010

3/27/09: Review by Lucy Riall, "Out of Italy," in the Times Literary Supplement, no. 5530, page 23:

“What makes Emigrant Nation so original is precisely its totalizing grasp, its consideration of economics, politics and culture and its insistence that Italian emigrant colonies in cities like New York and Buenos Aires and Italian colonialism in Africa were ‘two sides of the same coin’. . . . All these developments testify to the remarkable success of Italy’s emigrant vision: beyond geography and beyond boundaries, the nation was constructed as a transnational network of loyalty, support and shared culture. If widely perceived as a failure at home, the identity of Italy was made by its ‘faraway children’ overseas.”

Review by Rudolph M. Bell in The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 40, 1 (Summer 2009), pp. 100-102:

“One chapter explores how the Catholic Church, which was hostile to the Italian state, actively sought to preserve Italian identity among emigrants. Another one traces how emigration contributed to a new nationalism and renewed colonial efforts in Libya. The chapter before the unexpectedly present-minded conclusion discusses events ranging from an earthquake in Messina to outbreaks of cholera in Argentina and Uruguay and the paid return of more than 300,000 men to fight in the army that Italy fielded when World War I began. Overall, the book treats matters of economy, religion, politics, language theory, and more—all within a traditional historical narrative framework.”

    Radio Show on Thinking Aloud, KBYU-FM

    Editor’s Pick of the Foreign Policy Association

    6/26/08: DMI Blog Review

    6/24/08: Featured in The Page 99 Test: Emigrant Nation   “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” - Ford Madox Ford

    6/18/08: Brigham Young University Press Release

    Advance Reviews:

"Emigrant Nation is a compelling study that will be of great interest to scholars and students of migration in the past as well as the present. Through a fascinating analysis of the impact of emigration on Italy a century ago--and the Italian government's involvement with its emigrants abroad--Mark Choate makes an important contribution to our understanding of the global and transnational processes that are of such concern today."

– Nancy Foner, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and author of From Ellis Island to JFK


"Why is it that Italians abroad have often seemed more 'Italian' than those at home? In this lively and amply documented study, Choate shows that between 1885 and 1915 Italian governments sponsored an emigrant colonialism among Italians worldwide that they hoped would invigorate the making of a 'global nation' both at home and abroad. This book sheds light on how people leaving home helped reconstitute the identity of those they left behind."

– John Agnew, Professor of Geography, University of California at Los Angeles, and author of Place and Politics in Modern Italy


"Mark Choate succeeds in making emigration a central rather than peripheral theme of Italy's history, closely linking it to Italy's desire for imperial and cultural influence abroad and nation-building challenges at home. Readers will find especially compelling the implications of Italy's unique history for contemporary emigrant nations such as Mexico and the Philippines."

– Donna R. Gabaccia, the Rudolph Vecoli Chair in Immigration History Research, University of Minnesota; President, Social Science History Association (2008); and author of Italy’s Many Diasporas