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Italian American Periodicals at the Library of Congress

Political Periodicals

Marjory Collins, photographer. New York, New York. Girolamo Valente, Italian American newspaper editor correcting proofs of La Parola, his progressive weekly newspaper. 1943. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

This section of the guide provides a selection of some of the most noteworthy Italian American periodicals more specifically concerned with the political issues associated with the Italian American communities across the United States, but especially those situated in the large urban areas of the Northeast and Midwest. This section differentiates these periodicals from those grouped under the category of "Italian American Cultural Periodicals," more inclined to promote a sense of community among Italian immigrants and remind them of their native country. As the scholar Stefano Luconi specializing in Italian immigration to the United States at the University of Florence asserts "allegiance to fascism, economic constraints, and short-sighted opportunism resulted in inconsistency in the stand of the Italian-American press and subordination of its editorial policy to politicians who were not of Italian descent, which undermined the function of editors and owners of Italian-language newspapers as efficacious political brokers." 1

On a side note, the differences between the two categories of periodicals—political and cultural—established in the present guide can be hazy. However, periodicals defined as political have a clear and regularly stated political leaning, as frequently expressed in the intentions of their directors in a large part of their front-page editorials and articles. As Italian immigrants adjusted to their new life in America, these periodicals kept them informed about the political situation at home in Italy, while supporting a wide range of ideological stances here in the United States, from profascist to antifascist as well as republican, democratic, socialist, unionist, and anarchist. Many of the editors of these papers were markedly opinionated and involved in politics, and consequently their publications were as well. For instance, L'Eco d'Italia, one of the most prominent Italian American newspapers published in New York, began as a weekly publication in 1849 by Gian Francesco Secchi De Casali (Piacenza, Emilia Romagna, Italy, 1819–Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1885), a patriot and exile who became a spokesman for Italy's unification aspirations in the United States.

Marjory Collins, photographer. New York, New York. Girolamo Valente, editor of the progressive Italian weekly, La Parola, conferring with his secretary. 1943. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

This category of Italian American periodicals provide evidence of historical developments in Italian politics both in the United Sates and in the motherland, as in the nineteenth century with the revolutionary supporters of Giuseppe Garibaldi and Giuseppe Mazzini, then with the antifascist political debates of the twentieth century. Some noteworthy political newspapers found in this section of the guide include: L'Adunata dei Refrattari (1922–71), an anarchist newspaper published in New York; L'Unità del Popolo (1939–54), a newspaper affiliated with communist ideology published in New York; La Parola (1939), a socialist publication; and, Nazioni Unite (1942), an antifascist publication. This section also contains those Italian American periodicals that were less associated with a particular political party, but were still active in promoting various forms of support in the political scene, such as promoting local elections. For instance, this section includes the World Labor Forum (1948), which aimed to raise political awareness among its readers and critiqued postwar politics in Italy.

As in other sections of the guide, this category of Italian American periodicals is organized first by states in alphabetical order; under each state, by periodical titles alphabetically and chronologically distributed into three chronological subsections: 1860–1920, 1921–1950, and 1951–2010. However, given the diversity and variation in number of the Italian American press, not every city consistently published periodicals during those indicated periods. Consequently, in the guide, not every state will list all of the three timeline subsections, but only those corresponding to the holdings of Library of Congress that are described specifically.

Select the title of any periodical listed below to view fuller bibliographic information for that item in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to electronic versions are provided when available. Links to full-text articles available through the subscription databases in the Library of Congress E-Resources Online Catalog are only accessible onsite. Also, see the "Databases & External Websites" section of this guide.


  1. Luconi, Stefano. "The Italian-Language Press, Italian American Voters, and Political Intermediation in Pennsylvania in the Interwar Years." The International Migration Review 33, no. 4 (1999): 1031-61. DOI:10.2307/2547362. (from the subscription database JSTOR available onsite). External Back to text