Most studies of immigration to the New World have focused on the United States. Samuel L. Baily’s eagerly awaited book broadens that perspective through a comparative analysis of Italian immigrants to Buenos Aires and New York City before World War I. It is one of the few works to trace Italians from their villages of origin to different destinations abroad.Baily examines the adjustment of Italians in the two cities, comparing such factors as employment opportunities, skill levels, pace of migration, degree of prejudice, and development of the Italian community. Of the two destinations, Buenos Aires offered Italians more extensive opportunities, and those who elected to move there tended to have the appropriate education or training to succeed. These immigrants, who adjusted more rapidly than their North American counterparts, adopted a long-term strategy of investing savings in their New World home. In New York, in contrast, the immigrants found fewer skilled and white-collar jobs, more competition from previous immigrant groups, greater discrimination, and a less supportive Italian enclave. As a result, rather than put down roots, many sought to earn money as rapidly as possible and send their earnings back to family in Italy.Baily views the migration process as a global phenomenon. Building on his richly documented case studies, the author briefly examines Italian communities in San Francisco, Toronto, and Sao Paulo. He establishes a continuum of immigrant adjustment in urban settings, creating a landmark study in both immigration and comparative history.
Prologue: Migration from a Participant Family's Perspective Introduction: The Comparative Study of Transnational Italian Migration PART I: THE ITALIAN DIASPORA AND THE OLD AND NEW WORLD CONTEXTS OF MIGRATION 1. Italy and the Causes of Emigration 2. The Italian Migrations to Buenos Aires and New York City 3 . What the Immigrants Found PART II: THE ADJUSTMENT OF THE ITALIANS IN BUENOS AIRES AND NEW YORK CITY 4-+ Fare I' America 5. Residence Patterns and Residential Mobility 6. Family, Household, and Neighborhood 7. Formal Institutions before the Mass Migration Era 8. Formal Institutions during the Mass Migration Era 9. Constructing a Continuum
"Many speak of the virtue of comparative history, but few are brave enough to undertake the challenge. Samuel Baily accepted the challenge and has made an important contribution to this emerging genre... This volume should stimulate lively discussions among students of migration, urban studies, and comparative history."
Samuel L. Baily is Professor Emeritus of History at Rutgers University. Among his other books are Labor, Politics and Nationalism in Argentina, The United States and the Development of South America, and One Family, Two Worlds (with Franco Ramella).