We the Italians. Two Flags, One Heart. One Hundred Interviews About Italy and the US – Umberto Mucci’s New Book

Jan 19, 2016 521

by Sandra Tornberg

Umberto Mucci is my "virtual" friend who lives in Rome – virtual because I met him online, a friend because we share many of the same interests and I rely on him for inspiration and support. Umberto is the founder and CEO of We the Italians, www.wetheitalians.com, a website about anything regarding Italy and the US. He has a degree in Political Science and International Relations and an advanced degree in Marketing and Communication. Umberto is guest lecturer at International Consortium for Academic Programs Abroad (ACCENT), where he lectures about Italian emigration in the US and about the actual Italian presence in the US to students from Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota and Santa Barbara City College. He is the representative in Italy for the Italian American Museum of New York. Most importantly, Umberto loves America and Italian Americans and all things Italian-American.

For this book Umberto has chosen the best 100 interviews he has conducted between 2012 and 2015, both in the US and in Italy. The interviewees come from diverse thematic or geographic points of view and each has a story or role that is valuable to understanding the relationship between Italy and the U.S. They are dedicated and passionate about one or more aspects of Italy, and every one of them offers something relevant for the Italians living in Italy today. The Italian community in the U.S., made up of Italian Americans and Italians born in Italy and recently arrived in the U.S., is a prestigious group made up of several million positive people linked by a wonderful Italian heritage and an American dream.

Detroit is well represented in the book. Among the interviewees are Italian Consul in Detroit Dr. Maria Luisa Lapresa, and Jennifer Baross and Jack Johnson, director and producer of the documentary film "Parducci: The Man Who Made Detroit Beautiful". Corrado Parducci was an architectural sculptor who came to Detroit in 1924 at the request of Albert Kahn. Parducci's work adorns many buildings in Detroit, including the Guardian Building and the Penobscot Building.

"Two Flags, One Heart is the pay off of We the Italians: it represents the sense of loving two different countries and somehow belonging to both of them, a story that has been describing the lives of the Italians in America for over a century. After these 100 interviews, the author's opinion is that being Italian AND American (some of the interviewees have just one passport, but all of them love the country they don't officially belong to) is a gift, a blessing and something that will never cease to be beautiful."

Umberto will be on a promotional tour in the U.S. during February and March, which will take him to New York, and wisely, several cities with warmer temperatures including Miami, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Houston. He will be returning to the U.S. in May and we will collaborate to try and make Detroit one of his stops.

Two Flags, One Heart can be ordered on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AJWDV1S. The Italian edition is expected to be released in June.

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