Women of Courage: Jewish and Italian Immigrant Women in New York

By Rose Laub Coser; Laura S. Anker et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter One
Introduction

I think it is great that we get this information [about women] because I'm Italian, too, and it is my heritage. They always say the men did this and the men did that. The men my eye! It was the women who did all the work. Oh Lord, yes!

Rosa Fatino1

What did I have there? No relatives. . . . It was a hard life and I was glad. . . . I felt that no one dies in this country. That was the big thing . . . being killed and dying . . . we're going to a country where no one dies. . . . I was coming from a life of running and running and running away, and worrying about being killed and being hunted!

Fanny Greenberg

I wasn't afraid of anything, I had my mother and I had my relatives and I had my people . . . from the same country, the same town that I came from, so I really wasn't worried.

Nina Benuto

In the wake of World War I, an extraordinary group of women emigrated from Europe to the United States under austere conditions. The ways they chose to assimilate and differentiate themselves from mainstream American culture, and the experiences they had interacting with cultural, political, and economic institutions, offer rich insight into the process of cultural change and women's special role within it. This book considers the stories of 100 Italian and Jewish immigrant women who built lives and families in New York.

____________________
1
The names of all respondents have been changed to protect their anonymity. Original transcripts may be located in the archives by referring to the interview number published in the Appendix.

-1-

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