Between 1901 and 1910, over 2,000,000 Italians entered the United States (Cordasco 1981, 59) and, during the 100 years from 1822 to 1922, almost 4,500,000 Italians entered the United States (Stella 1924, 13). Unlike many other immigrant groups that stayed longer, the Italians’ sojourn in the United States averaged 17 years. Many Italians arrived searching for a temporary economic solution and stayed less than one generation before they returned to Italy (Stella 1924, 15). However, millions did stay and raised their children and grandchildren to become part of the American fabric. Carmela Curto immigrated to the United States as a child. Her story, with some dramatic high points but mostly mundane details, is an example of the Italians who immigrated to the United States in the early twentieth century. The life she lived with its hardships and successes is a history common to many Italian immigrants and...

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