The gangster, in the hands of the Italian American artist, becomes a telling figure in the tale of American race, gender, and ethnicity - a figure that reflects the autobiography of an immigrant group just as it reflects the fantasy of a native population.
From Wiseguys to Wise Men studies the figure of the gangster and explores its social function in the construction and projection of masculinity in the United States. By looking at the cultural icon of the gangster through the lens of gender, this book presents new insights into material that has been part of American culture for close to 100 years.
Fred L. Gardaphe directs the Italian-American Studies Program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is author of Italian Signs, American Streets: The Evolution of Italian American Narrative, Leaving Little Italy: Essaying Italian American Culture, Dagoes Read: Tradition and the Italian/American Writer, and Moustache Pete is Dead!: Italian/American Oral Tradition Preserved in Print.